La Mémoire tatouée ou la mémoire inscrite dans le corps
THE TATTOOED MEMORY OR THE MEMORY INSCRIBED IN THE BODY
PublisherUniverzita Karlova, Filozofická fakulta
SourceSvět literatury, 2020, Special Issue, 129-136
memory, The Tattooed Memory, Abdelkébir Khatibi, body, ornament, tattoo
Writing of the Self in French-speaking Maghreb literature opens an amalgam space par excellence. The individual memory of a writer is soaked by the collective memory which is forged with the colonial influence, Islam and ancestral or tribal cultures. The Tattooed Memory of the Moroccan writer Abdelkébir Khatibi has a subtitle Autobiography of a decolonized and it exposes the fragments of which the identity of the author and of his compatriots is built. This article shows how memory is inscribed in the body in Khatibi’s thoughts. It is the body of a little boy — the narrator — who has to go through the labyrinth of the narrow streets in the medina to understand the dark and troubled past of colonized people and to insert it into his own memory. He observes tattoos on bodies of old women — bearers of ancestral memory. And these tattoos become for him a deep language bringing him back to his inner being. For Khatibi, the tattoo initiates to remember and it has power to save the integrity of his memory.