Abdelkebir Khatibi (1938-2009) is one of the most important writers and thinkers to emerge from North Africa in the second half of the twentieth century. Though not widely known beyond the Francophone world, Khatibi's critical and creative works speak to the central concerns of postcolonial and postmodern life. Offered here in English for the first time, his long poem from 1976, Le lutteur de classe a la maniere taoiste is a wildly inventive, transgressive, and important text. Class Warrior delivers a kind of free-verse Marxist handbook, written with the energy, movement, and style of a highly idiosyncratic Taoism. Matt Reeck's compelling translation captures the stylistic and thematic beats of Khatibi's verse, rendering the deceptively simple language of the original without losing its extraordinary layers and complexities. The introduction provides biographical context and an overview of Khatibi's poetics of the orphan, a subject position that seeks to avoid authenticating notions of origins and that is also constantly restless and forever questing. This is a rich text for contemporary readers of poetry, as well as scholars of postcolonial theory.
ABDELKEBIR KHATIBI (1938-2009) is considered one of the most prominent writers of postcolonial Francophone literature from North Africa. His list of works includes thirty-six separate titles. During his lifetime he won literary and intellectual prizes in Morocco and France. After earning his PhD in sociology at the Sorbonne, he returned to live and work in Morocco. A writer of great breadth and challenging variety, Khatibi is known for works of literary and social criticism such as Maghreb pluriel, as well as for experimental fiction in titles such as Amour bilingue, a work of anti-autobiography in La memoire tatouee, and poetry, including this volume and Aimance. As a translator, MATT REECK has published Mirages of the Mind (Vintage India, New Directions), selected as one of the 25 best translations of 2016 by Three Percent and Bombay Stories (Random House India, Vintage UK/US), chosen by the New York Times as a 2014 editor's pick. He has won grants from the Fulbright Foundation, the NEA, and the PEN/Heim Fund. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.