Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2014

Publication Title

Comparative Literature Studies

Abstract

This essay examines the sexualization of post-colonial relations at the level of literature, paying special attention to how post-colonial resentment is portrayed via the figure of the “Arab boy,” transplanted from an exploited status in colonial settings to an un-assimilated status in contemporary France. The difficulties of communication that occur, when certain French writers aim to depict this Arab figure, are then sourced to problems of cultural translation in a variety of instances. Gay-identified Moroccan authors like Rachid O. and Abdellah Taïa, who write in French from France, have responded to calls for sexual disclosure as "native informants," while simultaneously supplying disturbing and destabilizing answers in stories often featuring sexualized Arab youth. These writers first reify and then challenge a tradition of sexualized literary collaboration that has existed ever since the writer and translator Paul Bowles fostered the emergence of Moroccan voices for a Western audience. Contemporary writers like Renaud Camus and Frédéric Mitterrand have themselves pursued forms of collaboration with North African cultural actors that recall the collaborative precedent. Between the era of Tangiers as a haven for gay writers and now, however, their young Arab interlocutors have gone from being available and servile, to "difficult" and resentful.

Keywords

North Africa, homosexuality, collaboration, Bowles, Morocco, Taïa, sex tourism, Renaud Camus, Frédéric Mitterrand

Volume

51

Issue

2

First Page

321

Last Page

343

DOI

10.5325/complitstudies.51.2.0321

ISSN

0010-4132

Rights

Copyright © 2014. The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

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