March 25, 2023

In his report on the novel “Naked Bread” by Mohamed Choukry, presented by him in the framework of the work of the Department of African Literature and Arts of the Academy of the Kingdom of Morocco, entitled “Say your word before dying in you.” … Abdel Fattah Al-Qajari, director of the Arabization Coordinating Bureau in Rabat, asked: Did Mohamed Shukri write his autobiography or a fictional biography? Chutney? The biography, in any case, is a retrospective prose written by a realistic person about his actual existence, his individual life and the history of his personality, in order to conclude that the story is a text that does not restore ordinary life, but rather reconstructs individual identity from the heart of the social and cultural identity that extends into the memory and conscience of its author.

The lecturer mentioned that “Barefoot Bread” is a literary text that has gone through an exceptional course of writing and publishing, first translated into English in 1973 by Paul Bowles; Years later, namely in 1980, it was followed by a French translation by Tahar Ben Jelloun; The original text was not published in Arabic until 1982 at the author’s own expense, after Arab publishers rejected it. It was banned in 1983 and was not published until 2000.

I do not know in the history of modern literature, – adds Al-Qajari, – a literary text that would cut through all these stages and paths to become immortal and one of the hallmarks of Moroccan and Arabic literary writing; We are faced with a narrative biography to the extent that the family is strongly present, to the extent that this biography is without a family.

The same lecturer emphasized that the reading of barefoot bread is necessary in relation to the other two texts that form the Siri trilogy, namely: “The Time of Mistakes” and “Faces”, and to them one can add Al-Shattar’s narrative, which clearly belongs to the style of Shatari, because the events of this type of literature revolve – in general – about the customs and traditions of the underprivileged and lower classes in society, which means that stories about adventurers of the brave are stories of social adversity. and human adventures.

Al-Hajari recalled that Muhammad Shukri began his biography by mentioning the first members of his family; His uncle: “…I am crying in memory of my uncle…” He then mentioned his mother, Abdelkader’s brother and his father in one paragraph, where one day the whole family appears: “…My mother tells me from time to time … Shut up, we’ll move to Tangier… My brother Abdelkader… No. Crying, my mother says… My father came in and found me crying over bread. …”; In the rest of the biography, the rest of the group follows: brother “Ashur” and friend “At-Tafersti” … The father of “Si Haddu Allal” seems to be a very severe character who severely abused Muhammad Shukri in childhood, and severely beat his other son until he dies;While the mother, Sida Maimunah, is a weak person with no opinion, she agrees with her husband and cannot refuse his requests.Regarding the father’s relationship with his son, he (Muhammad Shukri) once said: (I stumbled, fell with a stick, howled, I cursed him in my imagination, he beats me and curses loudly, I beat him and curse him with my imagination, if not for my imagination, I would have exploded) – (“Barefoot Bread”, p. 53).

Al-Hajari concludes that there is a complex semantic feature that distinguishes the image of a family on bare bread, which is easily discernible from the opening paragraphs of this biography:

Image of violence and rebellion: “My heart is beating wildly,” says the narrator.

An image of absurdity and despair: “Did God deliberately create this world in this kind of chaos and diversity?” He also speaks.

An image of stubbornness and defiance: since the narrator was a child when he grew up in a social situation known only for hunger, poverty, oppression and father’s domination, then a young man, eager to get out of the lower kingdoms of Tangier, enter school, and return to it years later in as an official representative, bringing their details to the world of creativity.

Is it possible to say that there is no family in barefoot bread? the lecturer asks; He then comments: “Family here is a heartbreaking human relationship and feelings stemming from destructive hatred that resulted in homelessness and loss, to the point that the narrator did not know how many members of his family. A brother and a sister were born to me, and he died or died, and I am in Tangier and know nothing. I never asked her (he means his mother, of course) until her death on 06/08/84” (p. 100).

Al-Hajari also mentioned that in 1980 Bernard Beaufort hosted Mohammed Shukri in his famous Apostrophes program in 1980 to talk about barefoot bread. Biffo asked him about the terrible cruelty of his father, and Shukri replied: father is a conversation about my feelings at that time, not what I say now, I now know and understand that my father himself was a victim of poverty and poverty … “.

Shukra, therefore, did not speak in bread barefoot about his father; He spoke of his feelings… of his father’s cruelty from the rigors of the stage and the rigors of society at the time.

Whether we are with Mohamed Choukry or against him in what he wrote, the same speaker continues, we do not disagree on the importance of his literary repertoire in relation to the social, cultural and political context that characterized Morocco in the fifties of the last century. .

Al-Hajjari also asked in his lecture whether “One Bread” can be said to be a family novel in the sense in which Freud used it in his book “Roman Family Desnévrosés” and deepened by Marthe-Robert in his book “Roman Origins” and the origins of the Romans. ?

The lecturer answers: “Barefoot Bread” is a family romance without a family. The family in the text is nothing but a mirror in which the narrator sees his life as a distorted symbol, radiating nothing but a sense of anxiety and nihilism, and looking for nothing but rebellion to overcome the consequences of the tense era of our Moroccan time. . Relationships between family members and the outside world were not based on fluidity and romance, but rather one that knew nothing but the dominance of feelings of loss, disappointment and insecurity, with a sentimental void seeping into it with the feeling that everything would become bitter.

Therefore, writing on bread with bare feet was a function of restoring crumbling and perishable values, for Shukri understood the meaning of the need for love; And the thirst for pure and direct knowledge, and the meaning of sharing your pain with others. Therefore, the rebellion that seized him was directed against everyone: both against his father and against social injustice … Shukri wrote “Bread with Bare Feet” without secrets, his heart was open, passionate about life and devoid of regret.

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