Available on JSTOR at: doi.org/10.2307/3334255

Abstract

The short story in Morocco draws from a great number of traditions which are the common property of the entire Arab world: the 6th century collection of fables, “Kalika Wa Dimna”; the 7th century philosophical novel; “the Arabian Nights”; even Berber and Jewish folk tales, proverbs, and songs. Several specifically Moroccan traditions complete the list. These include the recitals of the itinerant storytellers of Marrakesh and Fez and dramatic sketches and debates using mime, burlesque, and satire. Modern Moroccan literature emerges in the 1930's. It is written in Arab but shows the influence of the occident felt through the Arab translations of western authors. Its dominant theme is that of religious and political revolt. The first short stories written in French, those of Ahmed Safrioui, did not appear until 1948. The small number of works in French is symptomatic of the debate which currently divides Moroccan critics: Moroccan literature needs to be written in Arab if it is to reach the Moroccan people, yet French by its larger audience can facilitate the equally necessary communication between Morocco and the world.