Article

Autobiography and pseudo-autobiography in the works of Driss Chraïbi

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Abstract

Driss Chraïbi is a writer whose work has brought about various reactions ever since his literary debut in 1954: novels, memoirs, detective novels, his creation did not limit itself to one genre or one source of inspiration. At first glimpse, his works may seem scattered, without a real connection, but a more in-depth look shows the opposite. His work is complex precisely because it is so unitary. The guiding principle of our research has been the existence of pseudo-autobiographical elements in four of Driss Chraïbi's novels: Le Passé simple, Succession ouverte, La Civilisation, ma Mère !... and L'Inspecteur Ali. In order to confirm this hypothesis, we used a comparative study between these novels and the two books of memoirs by this author: Vu, lu, entendu and Le Monde à côté.Therefore, in this study, by analyzing characters, events, literary atmosphere and Chraïbi's style, we tried to give an account of certain aspects of his fictional works that have been considered strongly autobiographical. Following the chronological order by release date of the books, our purpose has been to follow the evolution of Driss Chraïbi's themes, characters and style from one work to another.For a stronger theoretical and methodological basis, we tapped into the wealth of theories concerning the autobiography and the related genres, and later switched to an analysis of male and female characters. This research of narrative instances allowed us to understand better Chraïbi's use of elements of his own life in order to build the foundation of his fiction, as well as the way in which he put them forward in his books.We also thought it was very interesting to show the evolution of Driss Chraïbi's style between his fictional or pseudo-autobiographical works and his two books of memoirs: the descriptions, the landscapes, his manner of approaching sensitive subjects like religion, as well as the evolution of Chraïbi's writing throughout his various books. These details are what keeps the traces of the author, despite the fact that Chraïbi is well-known for his propensity to blur the pathways and lines between genres.

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