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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

'A Glimpse of Our Vision of the World'

 “Poetry is not only a set of words which are chosen to relate to each other; it is something which goes much further than that to provide a glimpse of our vision of the world.” – Tahar Ben Jelloun

Despite being a Moroccan whose first language is Arabic, poet and writer Ben Jelloun has established his writing chops with work entirely in French. Born on this day in 1947, he started to write articles and reviews for the French newspaper Le Monde, while earning a doctorate degree in social psychiatry. In 1985 he published his widely celebrated first novel The Sand Child.   His second novel The Sacred Night won the major French writing award the Prix Goncourt.  Both novels have now been translated into 43 languages.
He also has earned acclaim for his efforts 
to foster peace and friendship among the Arabic and non-Arabic worlds and to fight 
injustice and racism through his essays and poetry, a medium he finds particularly powerful and recommends to all writers.

"I came to poetry through the urgent need to denounce injustice, exploitation, humiliation. I know that's not enough to change the world. But to remain silent would have been a kind of intolerable complicity,” he said.   “For me, poetry is a situation - a state of being, a way of facing life and facing history.”


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