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TABLE OF CONTENTS
«L’homme Composite» and the Cultural Schizophrenic
“La Société Composite” in Al-Ghurba and Al-Yatim
From Feudalism to Capitalism
The return of the repressed as a morbid symptom
Alienation as a morbid symptom: powerlessness and meaninglessness
Meaninglessness and normlessness
The Narrative Space in Al - Ghurba
I dedicate this to my father.
I express my deepest gratitude and thanks to my supervisor Hamza Salih for his bounty of academic support; I thank him for putting at my disposal his knowledge and his guidance and for letting me ‘experience’ research. I am so happy to express my gratitude to my brothers who have supported me.
‘L’HOMME COMPOSITE’ AND THE CULTURAL SCHIZOPHRENIC IN ABDULLAH LAROUI’S AL-GHURBA [ ALIENATION ] AND AL-YATIM [ THE ORPHAN ]
Moroccan society is composed of many conflicting and/or correlating modes of production. The subject, by virtue of inhabiting such a ‘composite’ society, is racked under the burdensomeness of modes of production. The inability to identify wholly with one pole of meaning production causes ‘l’homme composite de la société composite’ a certain split. Darius Shayegan calls such a split ‘cultural schizophrenia.’ This paper attempts to trace cultural schizophrenia and its consequences on ‘l’homme composite’ in two novels by Abdullah Laroui Al-Ghurba [ Alienation ] and Al - Yatim [ The Orphan ]. The study of modes of production in Moroccan society, as the two novels depict, will give the paper an important insight into characters’ schizophrenic behaviour.
I learnt at school all the conventional subjects that constitute the intellectual baggage of modern man. I study mathematics, science, history, geography, literature; but where does it come from, all this fragmented knowledge taught out of context, without organic links to the cultural canons of my Tradition? Where did I get the Cartesian cogito, the transcendental ego, the movement of the Being incarnated in time, the neutral objectivity boasted by the scientific method? Am I still in the Middle Ages? Did I experience the classical age and the epistemological breaks of the modern age?
--Daruis Shayegan, Cultural Schizophrenia
The present research paper aims principally at identifying cultural schizophrenia in Abdullah Laroui’s two novels AL-Ghurba [Alienation] and Al-Yatim [The Orphan]. This paper is anchored on the idea that some characters are schizophrenic in the sense that they exhibit certain schizophrenic behaviours. I mean by cultural schizophrenia that the characters are ‘culturally’ schizophrenic; that is, they display manifold facets of modes of consciousness that go hand in hand with certain modes of social organization and cultural production. This state generates feelings of alienation. I believe this cultural schizophrenia is the consequence of the conflicting dualisms that characterize these people who inhabit ‘les sociétés composites.’
The people living in a transitory historical period experience a certain confusion related to the way they ought to live their present. This confusion generates different views and values. Also, due to the effects of colonisation, a new system of values and representations emerges. For every system has its own vision and methodology of viewing the world, the ‘individual’ is no longer able to identify wholly with one system. Instead, his pockets are stuffed with a plethora of ideas that are more often than not contradictory. This person feels certain fragmentation, and since every fragment is particular and has the characteristic of cultural specificity, a lack in the context of any system of values increases the sense of confusion. As a result, this gives way to the emergence of what Shayegan calls ‘cultural schizophrenia.’ I equate ‘L’homme composite ’ with the cultural schizophrenic, which is true only if one idea is borne in mind: “L’homme composite… on a une tendance personnelle à vivre une morale et à avoir un comportement composite….” The schizophrenic behaviour is more or less the same thing. It is the hybrid of different views, conflicting or correlating, in a new system of mixed values, and the schizophrenic is an ‘individual’ who has internalized that confusion and said, “I am out of alignment with himself.”
Moroccan laymen as well as Moroccan intellectual have experienced this cultural change with utter dismay, and Laroui’s novels underline such a change prominently. I believe that Moroccan society, with its archaic registers and old mirrors, is living the trauma of modernity with all its alien paradigms. Some characters (as well as places, as we shall see in our analysis) are split. A character is strangled by the demands of tradition and the allures of modernity in the same way he/she is throttled by the yearning for collectivity and the burden of individuality.
I have chosen to trace this sort of schizophrenia through examining two postcolonial Moroccan novels. The genre of the novel, as Michael Bakhtin declares, “best of all reflects the tendencies of a new world still in the making; it is, after all, the only genre born of this new world and in total affinity with it.” It permits to approach thoroughly and pertinently the aim set for this paper. The thing this paper attempts to study relates to feelings and, for feelings are anything but fixed, then the study of the two novels will prove fruitful. For, just like subjectivity, the novel is “the sole genre that continues to develop, that is as yet uncompleted.” From this springs my will to work on Laroui’s two novels Al-Ghurba and Al-Yatim.
Novel writing with Laroui is an artistic industry that has its rules and origins. Unlike many other Moroccan writers whose writings are bitingly indicted for their artistic shallowness, Laroui’s novels are praised widely for their artistic sophistication. Many critics believe that Laroui’s novel writing style is saturated with modern narration techniques such as the technique of scene, monologue, dream, myth, allusion, symbolism of space, etc. Mohamed Mounib, for example, claims that Laroui is a descendant of Proust, Joyce, Faulkner etc.
It is of cardinal importance to say some introductory words about the two novels under examination. Some critics link Idriss, the main character, to Laroui himself on the basis that the characters in the two novels, especially Idriss, pose certain political, social and intellectual problematic dimensions that have constituted the major raw material for Laroui’s speculation and study. Characters of Al - Ghurba manifest dramatically the same material Laroui has been working on for many decades and mirror from within the roots and expansions of these issues that for so long have influenced the Moroccan intelligentsia. Al-Ghurba and Al-Yatim include mainly the same characters. Notably, we come to know the ‘real’ self of these characters only through examining their making in the two novels.
What characterizes the characters of Al-Ghurba is restlessness under the authority of the imperial enterprise. Although their country has gained political independence in Al-Yatim, they still restless and are unable to come home, a place where they can seek after the serenity and peacefulness of mind. Driss and Maria, for instance, have lost the sense of totality and harmony with environment: Driss will never be able to come to terms with his surrounding in the same way Maria will never again regain that bygone lamented sense of family. They are pastiche characters always on the move in an eternal seeking after the real; the real here is an ‘absence.’ It is the absence of totality, and the whole two-abovementioned novels are mainly about a ‘desire’ for the real. As their creator knows and as we come to understand through the unravelling of the narrative, they will never come to the real again. What they do not know is that the ‘real,’ or totality, is already behind them somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond Azemour and Casablanca.
The reason why I should go after some theories that explain Moroccan social change is that, for example, Paul Pascon’s notion of the ‘complex society’ explains, to a large degree, the nature of ‘L’homme de la société composite’. By doing so, it will be easier to ascribe the schizophrenia of some characters as it is manifested in the two novels to the state of transition Moroccan complex society is going through. A character (as well as place, or action) in the novel may reflect many modes of production which are underpinned by certain underlying systems of values. Since every mode is underpinned by a certain system of value and since every system has its own specificities, the individual is racked under their burdensome weight because whoever internalizes the divergences and convergences of these systems feels certain fragmentation.
Gramsci contends, “structures and superstructures form an ‘historical bloc.’ That is to say the complex, contradictory and discordant ensemble of the superstructure is the reflection of the ensemble of the social relations of production.” Here, Gramsci draws attention to that every mode of production assumes a certain consciousness and social order. For example, the capitalist mode assumes the existence of particular values and economic and social relations between its components; the same may be said about feudalism that assumes a hierarchal mode of relations between the serfs and the masters, etc. From this, it follows that the mode of production influences, if not determines, the way characters think, act and feel. Marx’s most influential books focus mainly on the study of Western societies. In these societies, it is not difficult to study modes of production. When Marx has studied the European society and the German society, in particular, capitalism was the dominant mode of production. For Pascon, however, it is difficult for in Moroccan society there is more than one mode of production. If the co-existence of four modes of production functioning within a given society means anything at all, it should be that it is a complex society.
In his book Etudes Rurales, Pascon believes that Moroccan society has for so long been studied superficially and partially:
Les sociologies du Protectorat ont été tribalistes parce qu’ils avaient besoin politiquement de la tribu,  mais la société Marocaine était loin d’être réductible au seul phénomène du tribalisme. Le militant politique a souvent la tentation d’être ouvriériste parce que qu’il apprécie d’une certaine manière l’avenir et l’importance de la classe ouvrier, mais la connaissance de la société Marocaine ne peut se réduire à l’études de la lutte de la classe ouvrière contre le patronat et l’impérialisme (Pascon, 197).
Pascon stresses that Moroccan society is composed of many social organizations. He believes that modes of production like capitalism and feudalism are of large significance in understanding this society. The view that it is a feudal society is doubtful to Pascon. He notes that the relations of “l’homme à l’homme, de serviteur à seigneur, de khadim à moulay, de sahib à sayid” are the essential dynamical force behind social organization, but this society cannot be reduced merely to the feudalist mode of production. Pascon even questions the extent of exactness in using feudalism to describe Moroccan society. Instead, Pascon proposes ‘ caidalisme makhzénien.’ The same can be said about capitalism, Patriarchy and Tribalism: they hold a large significance in explaining social organisation, but they do not account for all the dynamics behind Moroccan social organization.
Pascon points out that “il faut se render à evidence, notre société n’est pas homogène (199).” That is, it is bric-à-brac, incoherent, heterogeneous, and complex. For example, [L]e métayage coexiste avec le salariat et evec la cooperation; l’énergie humaine avec les énergies animale, hydrautique, mécaniques, électronique; le droit patriarcal coexiste avec la coutume tribale, l’ordre féodal, la loi coranique et le droit modern; l’institution familale coexiste avec l’assemblée villageois, le réseau seigneurial, la constitution; le culte des morts coexiste avec des pratiques magico-religieuse, l’islam et la science moderne (Pascon, 202).
‘‘[D]ans quelles société vivons-nous? Quelle est la nature de la société Marocaine (196)?” Pascon believes that it is a complex society, a society “[ ] qu’elle n’est pas purement ceci ou cela, mais que plusieurs modes de production participant à sa formation sociale (205).” For him, social change is not the substitution of one mode of production with another, of one social organization with another but the unceasing dialects between all these components at all levels of social reality. These components constitute antagonisms at many different levels. The concept of ‘la société composite’ is very important to this paper for it is not only useful in the study of social and economic relations within a particular society, but it helps, in a more intense way, and always insistent, in understanding the psychology of ‘les hommes de la société composite’.
Pascon notes that “Les hommes de la société composite  sont les hommes de plusieurs sociétés (209).”They are forced into being very fluid to overcome contradictions. According to Pascon, the man of the complex society “n’est pas contradictoire, il est logique jusqu’au bout, car il intègre le caractère composite de sa société et dépasse ses contradictions par son adaptabilité permanente à toutes les exigences du social (214).” This supposes that ‘l’homme de la société composite’ should play on all keyboards and use all registers, which, I believe, is the source of cultural schizophrenia. This is true in the sense that “[q]uand on vit dans une société composite, on a une tendance personnelle à vivre une morale et à avoir un comportement composite…Ceci pose le problème de la rupture (212) .”
Pascon’s contribution to this paper shall be the following: the complexity of ‘l’homme composite’ is the result of a very complex social reality. We shall study the complexity of characters in the novel and see to that we ascribe to the complex society the schizophrenia in the novel. But where does Pascon leave us?
Pascon’s ‘l’homme complex’ is full of modes of life whose incompatibility generates contradictions at many levels. This person inhabiting the transition with all its antagonisms “is trapped in fault-line between incompatible worlds, worlds that mutually repel and deform one another.” He is, on the one hand, in debt to his tradition, which is distorted; on the other hand, he has difficulty in adapting to modernity. One leg on each bank of the interregnum. Neither the left leg nor the right one is deep-rooted in the ground; in other words, the lens of modernity are cloudy and those of tradition are rusty.
In his book Cultural schizophrenia, the Iranian contemporary intellectual Daruis Shayegan introduces the concept of ‘Cultural Schizophrenia’. The book as a whole is “an essay on the mental distortions afflicting those civilizations that have remained on the sidelines of history and played no part in the festival of change (vii).” Shayegan stresses the idea that the new ideas the thinkers of Nahda had the merit of paying particular attention to, especially those of individual rights and liberties, were not the result of a recent miracle, but the end-product of an exceptional historical process.
Elaborating on the same idea, Al-Jabri believes, “as it is always the case, ideas copied from one intellectual and social environment to another cannot easily achieve enough supporters and, correspondingly, cannot turn to be an active ‘material force’ in history.” That is, these ideas have a particular context and come to being as a result of natural evolution rather than human force. These new ideas, though insignificant to the masses, kept floating on the surface. “This state of floating in the margin ideas and theories went through does not result only from the underdevelopment of the Arab masses’ social consciousness….But also these ideas and theories did not start, as a point of departure, from the Arab social reality; and it did not respect its specificities. However, their content was specific to European reality;” For example, “proletariat, bourgeoisie, class struggle, parliament, political party, revolution, etc., cannot be discussed in the same way they are discussed in Europe.”
Independence is both a delight and problem at the same time: it is a delight in the sense that the subjects restore the helm of leadership over the country; but a problem in the sense that when colonialists take their leave of a country, they leave back a germ that eats into the established system of values and views. To colonize is more than a military act. It involves a process of constructing and deconstructing of the already established systems of values that took in their making centuries of development. The colonizer brought with him techniques, systems of conduct, and new visions and ideas. “[T]hese new ideas, revolutionary in many ways, cleared the way to other layers of reality and created other social relations, most of which had not existed in our traditional world (Shayegan 4).” In this way, when the subject comes in touch with these new ideas, which are very alien to him and of whose origin he knows but little, he is mesmerised and worried by their seductive nature. The notion of ‘gentlemanliness,’ for instance, is alien to Moroccan culture. When a Moroccan subject tries to define himself as a ‘gentleman’, he immediately feels certain alienation. He is alienated from the word, from society and himself. It is very difficult to find an equivalent of the word in Arabic; and it follows that Moroccan collective culture does not allow for such a trait: individualism. To say a gentleman is to assume particular paradigms and episteme: it is to assume the existence of epistemological and philosophical breaks with traditional culture and its trait of collectivism and community. Apart from this, we can assume that a Moroccan person has lived for many years in Europe and that he has experienced the ‘idea’ of gentlemanliness in its true and original form and context; but this person will still feel that this idea is alien to him. It is his self/ves that has/have not changed. He can dress himself in smart clothes, speak like the Europeans, act and dance like them, bow in curtsey for women, or in general, be a gentleman; still, he will feel he is alien to these ideas. His own self has clambered over many centuries that took other nations to come to these ideas. In other words, this person tries to reap out the fruit which is not his.
The problem is that these who are born in the periphery and who have not internalized the historical breaks of the modern era, such as the Renaissance, Industrial Revolution and Enlightenment, have difficulty in coming to terms with the modern world. Shayegan asserts that the Third World is going through “a conflictual, inter-epistemic situation,” a situation that falls outside the monolithic vision outlined by Foucault who wrote, “in a given culture and at a given moment, there is always only one episteme that defines all the conditions of possibility of all knowledge.” On the contrary, for Shayegan they are monolithic, mutually exclusive blocs each of which monopolizes a given period;  but they can co-exist at the cost of reciprocal deformation. It is thus possible to live through a period of epistemic delay during which the adherents of an archaic episteme confront the forerunners of the world’s next conceptual matrix. This, as Al-Jabri believes, is a result of that “our present, its educational, political, social and economic issues, is a unique mixture, or a strange ensemble, of conflicting elements; it includes remnants of our past and the consequences of a present which is not ours: present of Europe.”
Shayegan contends the possibility that “two heterogeneous epistemes [may] operate in one and the same person, blinding him and paralysing his critical faculties.” That is, an ‘individual’ may incorporate different, sometimes conflictual, modes of acquiring and arranging knowledge which may result in the incoherence and disunity of the person. This is what Shayegan terms epistemological schizophrenia. I believe this is not very dissimilar to Pascon’s ‘l’homme composite.’ L’homme composite’ has “une tendance personnelle à vivre une morale et à avoir un comportement composite.” Since every ‘comportement’ is specific and is saturated with and/or ingrained in social reality, those who are afflicted with it are caught living in inter-episteme situations. I believe that what Pascon means by “une morale et un comportement composite” is what Shayegan calls the ‘schizophrenic behaviour.’
For example, “let us imagine a hypothetical individual clamped in the jaws of this split and wrestling with a contradictory double fascination: the enchanted vision of a world still infused with the aura of collective memory, and equally compelling allure of the new and unknown.” This person is in-between. His state of in-betweenness makes him alienated both by the shock of radical changes that sweep over him and by a pervasive nostalgia. He, who has interiorized tradition, cannot tear it out of himself, and because he continuously refers to it and resuscitates it, it becomes confused with the present. Unable to fathom out the extent of change and its consequences, ‘L’homme composite’ admits The new ideas assailing me, the new objects I see ranged before me in all their depth and solidarity, are wholly alien to me. I have neither appropriate words, nor adequate mental imagery, to understand them properly. They are something inaccessible surging suddenly into my field of knowledge. It is true that I perceive them, that I make use of them, that I exercise commend over them as well as having to endure them, but somehow they remain apart, suspended in abeyance amid the flux of my memory. I cannot trace their genesis nor was I present at their birth (Shayegan, 5).
These worrisome ideas constrain him in inescapable ways; though they are alien to him, he cannot do without them. These new ideas are by nature very demanding and those of tradition are uncompromising. The new emerging social reality compels the individual to compromise. The result is a complex individual, an individual-amalgam- whose internal and external contents are not linked anymore for the objects have changed a lot more than himself and his perception of reality. Shifts in paradigms are caused in the West by industrial and technological revolutions, which is not the case with him. He is aware that times have changed, that history has moulded new modes of production, of consciousness, and of social relations, but he is used to clamber the centuries and turn a blind eye on discontinuities.
When I commune with the mainstream of my culture, I find no breaks with the past, no changes of direction, no deviation from its great guiding principles. There is something which survives all changes, something which always sails serenely above the harshness of times, as if God were tirelessly repeating the same familiar litanies. Yet I cannot help knowing that, despite my dependence on this state of things, despite the persistence of problems supposedly solved for all time, there have somehow appeared insidious gaps and flaws which alter both the intact image I have composed of myself and the one I have always attributed to the real world. I sense in a confused way that there is a hiatus between what I have inherited from my forebears and what has become of the world. Nothing in my culture has prepared me for it, nor was there any warning of a change of this order (Shayegan, 8).
Shayegan points out that the three major events of European history- the expansion of maritime routes, the Renaissance and the Reformation- remained foreign to Islamic world. Renaissance stirred the curiosity of Europe to conquer other cultures, and thus transformed its closed world into an infinite universe. This curiosity gave way to many technological inventions that are in essence the product of a scientific vision of the world. It was a revolution in the scientific domain and in people’s way of seeing the world, a rediscovery of the world, so to speak, through new spectacles. This vision goes in conjunction with a certain perception of reality that “cannot be transplanted into societies where these qualitative changes have not taken place and are consequently unrepresented in people’s minds.” The inability of these new ideas to remain seated next to these old ideas causes a “hurt inside [his] mind, inside the confused order of things which long ago escaped [his] control.”
This hurt inside his mind, and which Pascon calls ‘ rupture,’ is the source of schizophrenia. The same thing crowds the minds of our characters in the novel. As we shall see in the analytical part, some characters try to make comparisons, to recall memory, to come to terms with time and space, and to draw upon extrapolations and affiliations, but they fail.
For Shayegan, Schizophrenia is not something that conditions the individual in spite of himself; rather, it is inscribed in the representations and propagated “by a whole network of sings which come to [us], from life, from school, from the street, from politics…” We shall use schizophrenia in our analysis as Daruis has used it: schizophrenia is a split mentality. Cultural schizophrenia is a state of mind wherein one says, “I am out of alignment with myself.”
Let us link what we have mentioned so far: the existence of ‘la société composite’ supposes ‘un homme composite.’ This person is, on the one hand, the result of transitions within the complex society; on the other hand, he/she is the amalgam of the conflicting feelings that accompany that transition. One may even venture to say that it is a new system of mixed values. The subjects that inhabit this transition are racked between new ideas and ancient ideas. The new evaporate for lack of a context and the ancient anxious with the failure to adapt. This state of mind is what characterizes the characters of Al-Ghurba (Driss, Maria, Jalil…) Maybe, that is what Gramsci means by ‘morbid symptoms:’ “in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.”
As I mentioned earlier, I will trace the manifestations of schizophrenia in the two novels, but the difficulty we encounter is that schizophrenia is not always communicated explicitly. The novel, as a genre, has this liberty of unravelling events ‘goutte-à-goutte’ through place and time. In a sense, the events are place-time bound. As we read the novel, we feel that there is always a strenuous essay on the part of the author to communicate these ideas of fragmentation and split through space. Many are they the occasions in which the author endeavours meticulously to load places and time with metaphorical and symbolic dimensions that transcend the literal and common sense meaning. Narration, communicating the ‘narrative universe,’ is not innocent. The same thing holds true for the spaces described. They are not only physical and geographical shapes, but they evoke, sometimes openly but more often implicitly, a great deal of information about what goes on in the minds of the characters. What is more is that the characters themselves are victims of the spaces they inhabit.
My literary instruments are mainly two: the ‘objective correlative’ and ‘chronotope of the threshold.’ The former is useful in the study of the feelings and emotions that overload space; the latter will give me fuller understanding of spaces and the attitudes associated with them. “Schizophrenia,” declares Shayegan, “is maintained by a whole network of signs which come to [us], from life, from school, from the street [and] from politics…” I shall try to poke at and probe into the significance of these signs for, I believe, space is complicit in the confusion, split and restlessness the characters feel.
In his essay, “Hamlet and His Problems,” T. S Eliot argues that “the only way of expressing emotion in the form of art is by finding an ‘objective correlative’; in other words, a set of objects, a chain of events which shall be the formula of that particular emotion; such that when the external facts, which must terminate in sensory experience, are given, the emotion is immediately evoked.” Eliot describes the so-celebrated play Hamlet as an ‘artistic failure’ because Hamlet’s emotions do not match the ‘facts’ of the play’s action.’ That is to say, the objects and places that surround Hamlet do not reflect his states of mind. In other words, the objective correlative is an external equivalent for an internal state of mind; any object should stand for or evoke a given mood or emotion, as opposed to direct verbal expression of it. I believe that Laroui had this in mind when he wrote his novel. He tries to link the feelings of fragmentation and schizophrenia that overcrowd the minds of the characters to external equivalences. We can study space through the chronotope of the threshold.
The chronotope is one of Mikhail Bakhtin’s most known contributions to literary criticism and to the theory of the novel, in particular. He gives, “the name chronotope [literally, time-place] to the intrinsic connectedness of temporal and spatial relations that are artistically expressed in literature.” For Bakhtin, the chronotope is a unit of analysis, that is, “an optic for reading texts as x-rays of the forces at work in the culture system from which they spring,” and it serves as a bridge between the external and the internal. Bakhtin singles out numerous chronotopes, such as the adventure chronotope, the everyday life chronotope, the chronotope of the threshold, etc. He believes that the image of man is always intrinsically chronotopic. It is this totally integrated sense of space and time that shapes our sense of reality.
Toward the end of “Forms of Time and of the Chronotope in the Novel,” Bakhtin describes the chronotope of the threshold as a chronotope “highly charged with emotion and value.” This chronotope is connected with the breaking point in life, the moment of crisis, or the decision that changes a life. It is a liminal space that stands for a transitory, in-between state characterized by undecidability and confusion. Bakhtin describes it as being Always metaphorical and symbolic. In Dostoevsky, for example, the threshold and related chronotopes- those of stairs, the front door and corridor, as well as the chronotope of the street and square that extend those spaces into the open air-are main places of action in his work, places where crisis events occur, the falls, resurrections, renewals, epiphanies, decisions that determine the whole life of man.”
What counts to us is the idea that the chronotope is the interdependence of time and space in forging characters in the novel. The chronotope is essential in the representation of human beings in fiction because meaning is conveyed mainly through the entrance of the chronotope. The literal significance of the threshold helps to a large degree in understanding the chronotope of the threshold. The threshold is that liminal space between many binaries (the internal/external world; the known/the unknown; the public/the private, etc.); and if we analyse Laroui’s characters, especially the characters of Al-Ghurba (Driss, Chaib, Omar, Maria, Lara, Julys, etc.) in the light of the aforementioned literary instrument, we find out that these characters live the chronotope of the threshold. They are confused and split between the north/south, inside/outside, present/past, real/legendary, despair/hope, etc.
By using the chronotope of the threshold, I endeavour to order space as place, not as time, in controllable categories that will facilitate analysing the way characters are influenced by the nature of the spaces they act in. Just as none of us is outside or beyond geography, none of the characters is free from the influence of space. For instance, any character who is on the move between the South and North may interiorize the attitudes associated with such spaces. We can say the same thing about characters taking shelter in dark windowless rooms in desolated disused houses. Thus, the places the characters attend are very important for it is that imminent effect of space is what victimizes them; their tyrant has sentenced them to live in such unstable places in such changing times. By using the objective correlative, I mean to study schizophrenia as is projected from characters into spaces; and by using the chronotope of the threshold, I mean to study the way characters are influenced by space.
My aim here is to shed light on ‘la société composite’ in the two novels bearing in mind that every social structure is underpinned by an underlying pattern of social relations; and that because we are deeply involved in our social world, we fail to remember that our behaviour is governed by accumulations of years of socialization. In this regard, Gramsci states, “that man cannot be conceived other than living in society is a commonplace.” Try as he will, the individual man seems incapable of distancing himself from his social world. The reason why I should study ‘la société composite’, as is stated elsewhere, is that this paper cannot come to reveal and understand characters in Al-Ghurba and Al-Yatim without a certain familiarity with the nature of society they are brought up to and/or in. For as it is widely accepted, Man is born to a particular social milieu and, in consequence, is deeply informed with the intricacies of the social structure of that milieu.
Therefore, the followed methodology necessitates that we study in this part types of societies in the two novels and look for the implications of these societies in characters’ behaviour, thought and actions; and, only then, can we arrive at the consequence of ‘la société composite.’ The consequence of this society is an individual who has “une tendance personnelle à vivre une morale et à avoir un comportement composite.” Laroui’s novels, Al-Ghurba in particular, as Mohamed Mounib contends, do not allow detailed descriptions of physical reality; that is, the internal world of characters is more favoured by the narrator than the spatial world. To look for the manifestations of modes of production in Al-Yatim and Al-Ghurba supposes that one should come out with the relations of these modes of production as they take place in the actual society, but since Laroui’s style is not a profuse one, then one has to take every word seriously.
Pascon focuses his attention on the Haouz, nearby the universe of the two novels under study, and through an examination of which he hopes to reveal the structures inherent in contemporary Moroccan society. Quoting approvingly from Jacques Berque, Pascon believes that the study of Moroccan society as a distinctive social form, a ‘société composite’, puts the researcher before “a texture with broad interlacing designs, a fabric with unexpected throwbacks that defies any simplistic appraisals and descriptions.” The reason behind this difficulty, Pascon contends, is that societies drag their pasts along with them, and this is true not only in an objective but also in a subjective sense.
This difficulty as Pascon believes is a result of that this society is still in the making. Instead of discussing feudalism, for example, in its European form, it is important to recognize that feudalism in Moroccan society is somehow different. Similarly, capitalism in Moroccan society is not European capitalism. Many elements disfigure these modes of production to the extent that Moroccan society “n’est pas purement ceci ou cela.” Al-Jabri contends this point In the Arab world, neither is the industrial structure established in a way that guaranties its continuation and rootedness, nor is the bourgeoisie class a real bourgeoisie class. Therefore, the Arab working class that this condition produces, cannot carry the same historical mission the European working class has set for itself: the absence of growing industrial structures makes the number of proletariat small, and the absence of the traditions of liberal bourgeoisie miscarries class consciousness. The result is the continuation of the same unchanged characteristics of the traditional Arab society [my own translation].
The following passage from Al-Yatim illustrates this point:
Hamdoun said: ‘I worked for the government for fifteen-years in vain; not far from me, the European was benefiting more than we did. I said to myself that the land is ours; they are men and we are men; but why did they benefit more than we did... so, I bought a land from a woman who blessed me with her prayers. And I have succeeded because of her prayers. I found water from the first day without any Soussi Faqih or rituals …you see fields like mine all over the place, but they were already prepared and equipped when their owners whether took them from the government or bought them. For me, I did everything with my hands: I dug, watered and ploughed the land. Of course, I had problems at the beginning. My neighbours looked at me as if I had stolen their land, so they opposed me on everything. Then, they have beheld me living like them, I go to Souk, I help them with money, tools and consults, and never interfere in their matters; consequently, they start to respect me…I wonder about the reasons that push the youth to live in cities and travel abroad or work with the government. Goodness, freedom and independence are linked to the land. Give the land, and it gives you back’…
From the very beginning, I preferred planting vegetables to corn and wheat. I sell vegetables in the city and buy grains for the cattle…soon enough, I will stop producing milk and butter, and I will substitute that with the production of seeds and flowers  everything is attached to profit, and I am convinced that this is going to be profitable in the long term.
Hamdoun, Like Moroccan society, is still in the making. After working in the public sector for fifteen-years, Hamdoun buys a land and exploits it. Hamdoun loves the land for as he confirms, goodness, freedom and independence are linked to the land. Give the land, and it gives you back. First, he breeds cattle, and then he sells them. Soon enough, he will stop producing milk and butter and try his lot in the industry of seeds and flowers because they are more profitable. He believes that he has attained success because of an old woman’s blessings, etc.
From this passage, it is difficult to determine over to what society Hamdoun belongs. Apparently, Hamdoun is neither fully feudal nor fully capitalistic. Feudalism can be described as society governed by those eligible through birthright, relationships with the ruling class, and economic organization will also follow this hierarchical order where wealth will be concentrated within the upper echelons of society. The basis of power is through land, capital, military, or political control. This compels us to say that Hamdoun is not fully feudal for he belongs neither to a wealthy family nor to a ruling class. At the same time, he is not a capitalist for he has no proletariat working under his supervision, no means of production and no capital. I believe, perhaps, that these two modes of production are difficult to distinguish because they are still in the making.
One other reason why the researcher cannot determine for sure over modes of production in Moroccan society is the presence of superstition. Hamdoun has achieved his current state of success through working hard on his land. He says, “I did everything with my hands: I dug, watered and ploughed the land (120);” Directly, however, he dismisses his work to oblivion, “and I have succeeded because of her prayers. I found water from the first day without any Soussi Faqih or rituals.” One legitimate question is why, in the presence of his strenuous work, Hamdoun cannot distinguish between his sense of entrepreneurship and luck or blessings. Besides, as is implied in page 124 in Al-Yatim, it is not his land. He has falsified the documents and, as a result, has stolen it from its owners. One cannot be sure whether to ascribe his success to his spirit of entrepreneurship, his love for the land, or his falsification. If we assume that Hamdoun has a spirit of entrepreneurship, we can then say that Hamdoun’s capitalistic spirit is emerging; on the other hand, if we assume that he loves land, then we can say that his love probably may lead to the emergence of a feudal enterprise.
However, we can distinguish some traits of modes of production in the two novels. We shall concentrate on four modes of production, mainly on patriarchy, feudalism and capitalism, and tribalism. These modes constitute Moroccan bric-à-bric society.
Al Hibri writes, “God was declared male, and man was declared to be created in His likeness. Eve became the symbol of temptation and sin. The woman was consequently judged as a less likely candidate for salvation and an everlasting life in heaven than man.” This view of gender is prevalent in all Abrahamic religions. The point where do these religions differ is their view to sexuality. The Christian church attacks sexuality in itself on the basis that it is profane and sinful and this is due to its adherence to the belief that there is an eternal division between soul and body, and of which division civilization is the victory of spirit over body. On the contrary, Islam never repudiates sexuality as such. Instead, ‘marriage,’ as Muslims say, ‘is a perfection of one’s faith.’ Islam is different from Christianity in the way it sees women as active sexual powers rather than mere ‘angels in the house.
 ‘La société composite’ is a sociological term coined by Moroccan sociologist Paul Pascon. Pascon’s studies reveal that Moroccan society is not determined by one main mode of production governing all the possible relations of production; instead, Pascon believes, many modes of production such as patriarchy, feudalism, tribalism, etc., shape this society.
 ‘L’homme composite’ is anybody who is influenced by the different sorts of relations that take place in ‘la société composite.’ Such a person lives in what Jean Poirier calls ‘dualismes.’
 Pascon, Paul. Etudes rurales: idées et enquêtes sur la campagne marocaine. (Rabat: Société Marocaine des Editeurs Réunies, 1980) 212.
 Shayegan, Daruis. Cultural Schizophrenia: Islamic Societies Confronting the West. (Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press, 1997) 10.
 Bakhtin, Michael. The Dialogic Imagination. (Texas: University of Texas Press, 2010) 7.
 The Dialogic Imagination, 3.
 For Al-Jahiz, the writer is the manufacturer; language is the tool; and the subject matter takes the form of matter.
 Mounib, Mohamed. The Narrative Space in the Moroccan Modern Novel. (Oujda: Faculty of Letters and Humanities Oujda Publications, 2001) 184.
 Gramsci, Antonio. Selections from the Prison Notebooks of Antonio Gramsci. Trans. and ed. Quintin Hoare and Geoffrey Nowell-Smitt. (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1971) 366.
 Paul Pascon is the father of Moroccan sociology. His studies of Moroccan sociology have revolutionized rural sociology. One of his contributions to modern sociology is the notion of “la société composite.”
 Pascon, 198.
 Shayegan, Vii.
 Al-Jabri, Mohammed Abed. An Opinion: Towards Rebuilding the Issues of Contemporary Arab Thought. 4th ed. (Beirut: Center for Arab Unity Studies, 2011) 137.
 An Opinion, 138.
 An Opinion, 138.
 Shayegan, 71.
 Foucault , Michel. The Order of Things. (New York: Routledge, 2005) 183.
 Al-Jabri, Mohammed Abed. Heritage and Modernism: Studies and Discussions. 4th ed. (Beirut: Center for Arab Unity Studies, 2011) 36.
 Shayegan, 72.
 Pascon, 2012.
 Pascon, 5.
 Shayegan, 19.
 Shayegan, 8.
 Shayegan, 9.
 Shayegan, 10.
 Gramsci, 276.
 Shayegan, 10.
 Litz, A. Walton et al . The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism: Modernism and New Criticism. (UK: Cambridge University Press, 2000) 27.
 The Dialogic Imagination, 84.
 Smerthurst, Paul. The Postmodern Chronotope: Reading Space and Time in Contemporary Fiction. (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 200) 70.
 Bakhtin in Contexts: Across Disciplines. Ed. Amy Mandelke (Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 1995) 99.
 Narrative Dynamics: Essays on Time, Plot, Closure, and Frames. Ed. Brian Richardson (Ohio: Ohio State University Press, 2002), 21.
 ‘La société composite’ is a sociological term coined by Moroccan sociologist Paul Pascon. When Pascon studied Moroccan society, he could not come out with one main mode of production governing all the possible relations of production. What he observes is the existence of many modes of production, tribalism, patriarchy, theocracy, capitalism, etc. Therefore, the researcher has to bear in mind the difficulty of studying such a complex society.
 Gramsci, 353.
 Pascon, 212.
 Mounib, 192-193.
 Seddon, David. Rev. of The present and the Past Capitalism and Agriculture in Houz of Marrakech by John R. Hall. The Journal of African History. 1988: 129-130.
 Pascon, 205.
 An Opinion, 140.
 It is a reference to how water is looked for in traditional Moroccan society. When someone wants to dig a well, he just cannot run the risk of digging in a place where there is no water. There is a certain person who carries a ‘fortune rod,’ a Y-shaped stick, and seeks after water; whenever this person comes to a place where water is, the rod starts shaking. Moreover, people use Faqihs because it is widely believed that everything that is underground is of and to demons; so, they use Faqihs because they are close to God and they know how to deal with demons.
 Laroui, Abdullah. Al-Yatim. (Casablanca: The Arab Cultural Centre, 2001) 120-122.
 Al - Yatim, 120.
 Al-Hibri, Azizah Y. “Capitalism is an Advanced Stage of Patriarchy: But Marxism Is Not Feminism.” Ed. Lydia Sargent (Boston: South End, 1981) 176.
Magisterarbeit, 113 Seiten
Diplomarbeit, 103 Seiten
Masterarbeit, 126 Seiten
Magisterarbeit, 113 Seiten
Diplomarbeit, 103 Seiten
Masterarbeit, 126 Seiten
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