Mohammed Khair Eddine
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Mohammed Khair Eddine
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Mohammed Khair Eddine (1941-1995). Moroccan novelist and poet, Khair Eddine is one of the most prominent and influential Moroccan French-language writers who sought to revitalise Maghreb literature in a post-independent Morocco.

Born in Tafraout in the South of Morocco to a family of merchants, Mohammed Khair Eddine spent his childhood rather commonly, like many of his peers at the time. His education coincided with him leaving his hometown for Casablanca, the city that would be a witness to the kindling of his literary passions.

Between 1961 and 1963, and having moved to Agadir after the 1960 earthquake, he worked for a government agency, an occupation that put him face to face with the terrors of that fateful event - an event he would go on to draw from, and allude to, in his first novel Agadir. He proceeded with what he called \"Linguistic Guerilla,\" following his relocation to Casablanca between 1963 and 1965, where he would meet B. Jakobiak and A. Laabi, the future founders of Souffles, a socio-political literary magazine, in French and Arabic language, published between 1966 and 1972. In 1965, he departed to France, searching, in the distance, for the only possible link with family and home.\r

Carrying out his voluntary exile, between 1965 and 1980, he wrote in abundance, publishing his works in several magazines such as Dialogues, Les Lettres Nouvelles, and Présence Africaine. In 1967, his poems were well received and highly remarked in Les Temps Modernes and Le Journal des Poètes. That same year, he published his novel Agadir, which earned him the Enfants Terribles prize. His prolific artistic productions continued to appear one by one, in which he remained faithful to his habit of exploring new forms of expression and traversing untravelled territories, blending literary genres and using iconoclastic language and explosive imagery to address themes of cultural disorientation, loss of personal values, and political conflict and hypocrisy.

After fifteen years away, he returned to Morocco in 1980. Soon after, in 1981, he published a collection of poems titled Résurrection des Fleurs Sauvages. The only major work that withstood his nine years of residence in Morocco was Lègende et Vie d'Agoun'chich, a novel, published in 1984, blending the mythical and ancient legends of Berber culture with the repercussions of colonisation, immigration, and modernity. After enjoying his reuniting with his homeland and culture for some time, and feeling out of place in a country that seemed foreign to him, Mohammed Khair Eddine, once again, departed to France in 1989. Thus continuing his search for inaccessible realms, and seeking refuge in his penchant for exile and wandering. A few years later, he returned to Morocco. He passed away in 1995 in Rabat.

Other notable works by Khair Eddine include: Corps Négatif (1968), Histoire d'un Bon Dieu (1968), Soleil Arachnide (1969), Le Déterreur (1973), Ce Maroc (1975), Une Vie, un Reve, un Peuple, Toujours Errants (1978), and Il Etait une Fois un Vieux Couple Heureux (2002).


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