Mā ʿadš sāktīn (We Are No Longer Silent). Revolutionary Discourses in Tunisian Novels: Ḥusayn al-Wād, Šukrī al-Mabḫūt and Ayman al-Dabbūsī

in La rivista di Arablit, a. XIII, n. 26, dicembre 2023, pp. 141-166.

In the surge of Tunisian political literature following the revolution, there emerges a discernible climate of open discussion concerning politics. Political divides are not only dissected and delineated but also rendered into narrative. This transformation in the canon underscores the role of narrative as not merely a mode of artistic or cultural expression, but as a strategic tool capable of shaping public discourse, influencing social norms, and challenging or reinforcing political ideologies. This article focuses on three contemporary Tunisian novels, with the aim to delineate the political discourses entangled with discourses and representations of 2011’s revolution. The novels are Ḥusayn al-Wād’s Saʿādatuhu… sayyid al-wazīr (His Excellency Mr. Minister, 2011), Šukrī al-Mabḫūt’s al-Ṭalyānī (The Italian, 2014), and Ayman al-Dabbūsī’s Intiṣāb aswad (The Black Uprising, 2016). In the novels under examination, two principal approaches emerge: one that idealizes the revolution as an event potent enough to rectify the country’s issues and cleanse the corruption within Ben Ali’s political class; the other approach views the revolution with a disenchanted gaze, recognizing its political importance but acknowledging that it is merely the starting point for the reform of the nation.

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This is an Article from La Rivista di Arablit - Anno XIII, numero 26, dicembre 2023

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Andrea Maria Negri |