S. V. PROZHOGINA
Doctor of Philological Sciences
Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Keywords: contemporary Moroccan fiction, Iman Nasiri, collection of short stories "Don't judge me harshly", dichotomy "tradition-modernity", "East-West"
The first collection of short stories by Iman Nasiri is called "Don't Judge Me Harshly" (Iman Naciri. Ne me jugez pas! Casablanca, 2012). As if addressing his readers, the aspiring author hopes for leniency to their literary skills - after all, Iman Nasiri (b. 1976) by profession, it would seem, is far from artistic creativity: she is a "Master of Marketing in communications", that is, from among the intelligentsia, more "technological" than humanitarian. But it is obvious not only that Iman Nasiri is one of the generation of those "new women" of Morocco who believe that education is just as vital for them in modern Muslim society as for men, and that it is important for a woman to work for herself, her family, and her children, and that her "social purpose" is the same."it opens both her own way into the world and herself - for him.
Iman Nasiri is another vivid example of those smart and talented women of Morocco (and our magazine has already had the honor to present many of their names*) who join the ranks of modern writers, because for them it is their main profession (sociologist, architect, lawyer, doctor, etc.) that provides an opportunity for observation and understanding of what is happening in the near future. It leads to the desire to capture those moments and images that reflect not only the passing or inevitably coming new time of life, but also the attributes of its national tradition and the Moroccan mentality that remain unchanged.
Dedicating the book to her family-her parents, husband, children, relatives and friends-Iman Nasiri wrote in the preface to one of the short stories in her collection in January 2012: "Moroccan society is full of subjects for literature. Everywhere you meet a wide variety of people: the unemployed, the bully, the orthodox, the chaste, the dreamers, the opportunists, the extremists, the poets, the madmen, the lazy, the egoists, who are found among the young and the old. They are everywhere, in all societies.
But only in Morocco do people like to live between two worlds. Think about what is "here", but also about what is "there". Think like a Moroccan, but want to live like a European. We are a very dichotomous country. We are tormented by both reason and passion. The desire to be "different" and at the same time the need to remain the same "as everyone else" (p.6).
Basically, all the short stories from the collection of Iman Nasiri, one way or another, show this "dichotomy", in which she sees the main sign of modern life in her country.
Just a few "sketches" of this life out of two dozen included in the collection, which we offer to the readers of the magazine ("Adil Guevara", "With a good mood", "Heir"), in our opinion, indicate not only the outstanding psychological skill of a novice author who chose a small narrative form (one of the most difficult in the literature!) to "communicate" your testimony about the world around you.
The main thing in this testimony is a close and not indifferent look at the lives of her contemporaries, a realistic sharp typification of the signs of both the old and the new, a sincere feeling of love, understanding, compassion, and irony for her compatriots, which connects Iman Nasiri with those truly brave and even courageous Moroccan women who define the face of modern artistic literature. Morocco, whose works capture today the image of this amazing country in all its fullness and specificity.
* For more information, see: Asia and Africa Today. 2001, N 3; 2008, N 10; 2009, N 4; 2011, N 4.
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