Abdelkebir Khatibi

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Abdelkebir Khatibi (Arabic: عبد الكبير الخطيبي‎) (11 February 1938 – 16 March 2009) was a Moroccan literary critic, novelist and playwright. Affected in his late twenties by the rebellious spirit of 1960s counterculture, he challenged in his writings the social and political norms upon which the countries of the Maghreb region were constructed.


A native of the Atlantic port city of El Jadida, Abdelkebir Khatibi was born in the middle period of Morocco's 44-year (1912–56) status as a French protectorate. A French-speaking member of the educated class, he studied sociology at the Sorbonne, receiving a doctorate in 1967. His dissertation, Le Roman maghrébin [The Maghribian Novel], which examines the question of how a novelist could avoid propagandizing in the context of a postrevolutionary society, and its follow-up, Bilan de la sociologie au Maroc [Assessment of Sociology Concerning Morocco] were both published shortly after the Paris Spring unrest of May 1968.

Final years[edit]

In his later years, Abdelkebir Khatibi had been suffering from a chronic cardiac condition which led to his death in the Moroccan capital, Rabat, five weeks after his 71st birthday. During the final stages of his illness, a measure of the high regard in which he was held was seen in the personal concern of King Mohammed VI who directed his transfer to Morocco's premier medical facility, Sheikh Zayed Hospital.

Khatibi is survived by his widow and their two children.


Partial list of books[edit]

  • Études sociologiques sur le Maroc [Sociological Studies Regarding Morocco] (1971)
  • La Mémoire tatouée [Tattooed Memory] (1971) ISBN 2-264-00220-4
  • La Blessure du nom propre [The Wound Under Its Own Name] (1974)
  • Le Livre du sang [The Book of Blood] (1979) Gallimard ISBN 2-07-028677-0
  • De la mille et troisième nuit [From the Thousand and Third Night] (1980)
  • Amour bilingue [Bilingual Love] (1983); Love in Two Languages (1990 English translation by Richard Howard, published by University of Minnesota Press)
  • Un été à Stockholm' [A Summer in Stockholm] (1992), Flamarion ISBN 2-08-066473-5
  • Triptyque de Rabat [Rabat Triptych] (1993)
  • Tattooed Memory translation by Peter Thompson,Editions de L'Harmattan ISBN 978-2-343-09724-4 (2016)


  • La Mort des artistes [The Death of the Artists] (1964)
  • Le Prophète voilé [The Veiled Prophet] (1979)


External links[edit]