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Authors: Tahar Ben Jelloun Quotes, Famous Tahar Ben Jelloun Quotes, Quotations, Sayings
1 2 more Tahar Ben Jelloun quotes
Women should be equal to men in the Arab world…should we wish to step forward.
Tahar Ben Jelloun
Quoted in Morocco Times
It's a book without concessions. I wrote it feverishly, bewitched by it, surprising myself with an inner strength.
Tahar Ben Jelloun
On his 2001 novel This Blinding Absence of Light
The mistake we make is to attribute to religions the errors and fanaticism of human beings.
Tahar Ben Jelloun
Islam Explained (2002)
I am a French writer of a peculiar kind, a Frenchman whose native tongue is Arabic, a language that holds my emotions and affections, I am a Moroccan with no identity problems, one who feeds on the popular imagination of Morocco - a country I will never leave.
Tahar Ben Jelloun
Emigration is no longer a solution; it's a defeat. People are risking death, drowning every day, but they're knocking on doors that are not open. My hope is that countries like Morocco will have investment to create work, so people don't have to leave.
Tahar Ben Jelloun
Quoted in The Guardian, May 2006
Racism is first and foremost self-hatred. And when it's erected into a system, it spreads out from the self and includes one's fellows.
Tahar Ben Jelloun
In the 70s I was in exile; every time I went back I wondered if they'd take my passport away. But now, like those writers I admire - Joyce, Beckett, Genet - I feel only a metaphysical exile.
Tahar Ben Jelloun
Quoted in The Guardian, May 2006
For a long time I searched for the black stone that cleanses the soul of death. When I say a long time, I think of a bottomless pit, a tunnel dug with my fingers, my teeth, in the stubborn hope of glimpsing, if only for a minute, one infinitely lingering minute, a ray of light, a spark that would imprint itself deep within my eye, that would stay protected in my entrails like a secret. There it would be, lodging in my breast and nourishing my endless nights, there, in the depths of the humid earth, in that tomb smelling of man stripped of his humanity by shovel blows that flay him alive, snatching away his sight, his voice, and his reason.
Tahar Ben Jelloun
This Blinding Absence of Light, opening lines
When I was extremely tired, pages of Balzac or from Victor Hugo would sometimes bombard me all mixed up together.... Losing that inner strength immediately affected my situation in the hole: my cell shrank. The walls closed in on me; the ceiling dropped. I had to react quickly and recover that ability to be in touch with distant and imaginary worlds.... I reach out with both arms. I touch the walls. Sitting, I lift them up. I'm two inches from the ceiling. The walls must move back. I push them with the palms of my hands. I stand up, still hunched over, and try to raise the ceiling as though it were a lid. I will repeat this operation all day long. When I collapse in exhaustion, I will know that I have managed to gain an inch or so. The abstract problem - of memory - can be solved by acting on something concrete,, the area of my incarceration. If I succeed in organizing my mental library, I am saved. The walls will no longer oppress me. If I escape in my mind by recovering the characters imagined by my novelists, I won't have a problem with my space anymore.
Tahar Ben Jelloun
This Blinding Absence of Light
Gradually I built up my library again. There were not many books, but there was one I had read at the time of the competitive entrance exam for the Moroccan Civil Service Academy (I flunked it by one point): Camus's The Stranger. Ah, what joy, what delight to rediscover those pages where every word, every phrase, is carefully thought out! For a solid month, I recited The Stranger to my companions. I remembered poor Abdelkader dying because no one told him stories anymore. With Camus, I felt at ease and was only too happy to recall certain passages. This conferred on them an immense importance that went far beyond the story of the crime. A novel related in a dungeon, in the presence of death, cannot have the same meaning, the same consequences, as it would when read on a beach or in a meadow, in the shade of cherry trees.
... Like a distant murmur, I heard someone repeating the opening of the book.

"Mama died today. Or perhaps yesterday, I'm not sure. I received a telegram from the nursing home: 'Mother deceased. Funeral tomorrow. Deepest sympathy.' The meaning isn't clear. Maybe it was yesterday."

Then I heard a different voice.

"Today, I am going to die. Or maybe tomorrow. I don't know. My mother will not receive a telegram from Tazmamart, or any deepest sympathy. The meaning isn't clear. Maybe it was yesterday."

Another voice.

"Then, I shot four more times at a motionless body, into which the bullets vanished without a trace. As if I were giving four brief knocks on misfortune's door."
Tahar Ben Jelloun
This Blinding Absence of Light
1 2 more Tahar Ben Jelloun quotes
Tahar Ben Jelloun. French novelist and poet, born Morocco 1944.


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