(Tunisian literature and the journey to Europe: circumnavigation, migration or exile)
in La rivista di Arablit, a. IV, n. 7-8, dicembre 2014, pp. 211-225.
If Travel Literature always charts courses that cross geographic and linguistic borders in an intercultural perspective, Maghrebi and specially Tunisian Travel Literature represents a very fruitful research field for the analysis of relationships between the two shores of the Mediterranean Sea. This study at first considers the “touristic” trip depicted in ‘Alī al-Dū‘āǧī’s Ǧawlah bayna ḥānāt al-Baḥr al-Mutawassiṭ (A Tour through Mediterranean Taverns, 1935-1936); then it explores the contemporary migrations narrated in Salah Methnani’s Immigrato (Immigrant, 1990) and Habib Selmi’s Ḥufar dāfi’ah (Warm Pits, 1999); and, final, it examines Abdelwahhab Meddeb’s L’exil occidental (2005), which re-elaborates the “Western exile” of the Persian philosopher and mystic Sohravardi in an existential tone. So this article aims to identify the evolution of Tunisian imaginary on migration to Europe and to describe the representation of the European – specially Italian – other in a multilingual dimension, since the works examined are written in three different languages: Arabic, French and Italian.
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