ALGIERS – A literary meeting on the prolific work of Mohamed Dib, one of the most important novelists of contemporary Algerian literature, was hosted in Algiers, by the authors Mohamed Sari and Ahmed Benzelikha on the occasion of the centenary of the birth of the writer.
Held as part of the event “The cultural re-entry” which has been taking place since September 26, the meeting took place at the National Library of El Hamma, in the absence of representatives of the Mohamed-Dib Foundation, and the presence of a very small audience.
The author, translator and current president of the National Council of Arts and Letters (CNAL), Mohamed Sari who recalled that Mohamed Dib knew how to “protect himself from any Western influence”, thus, exploiting his pen at the service of his country, in “committed works”, to the point of his systematic marginalization because, explained the speaker, “it did not fit into the mold of the dominant neo-colonialist ideology”.
In “curious behavior of French and European critics with regard to our books”, a text he had written, Mohamed Dib considered that the “judgment” of Westerners with regard to a work written by a North African author, is “never innocent” because it is no longer “the work of a man who writes”, he wrote, but that of a “Maghrebi who refers to his ethnic group”.
Mohamed Sari then referred to Dib’s long stay in Finland and the change in writing register, thus moving to a literature qualified as “exploded”, with the transfer of the conflict from the scale of lived reality to that of reflection, in a writing which broke up the standards of the classic novel maintained until then by the author of “The big house”.
The novelist, poet and specialist in communication, Ahmed Benzelikha, for his part, gave an account of “his meeting” with Dib. According to him, the imagination of this “reconciler” was nourished by mixing “different veins” from schools, “people” (from the street) and “colonial side”.
“From the Algerian Sahara to the northern snowflows of Finland, Dib seems to tell us in a purely humanist literary spirit that the individual has remained the same”, explained the author of “Elias”.
Born on July 21, 1920 in Tlemcen, Mohamed Dib is one of the most prolific Algerian authors who invaded the literary field by publishing the novels of “La grande maison” ” The big House” in 1952, “L’incendie” , “The fire” in 1954, and
“Le métier à tisser” ” The loom “in 1957, a trilogy that depicted the picture of the life of the Algerian who is
marginalized and drowned by the misery and the pangs of colonialism.
Died in 2003 at the age of 82, Mohamed Dib left works considered “the most important of Algerian production in the French language” in the opinion of the academic Naget Khadda.
The event “The cultural re-entry” continues until October 7 with several conferences on history and literature on the program.