Retrouver Les Traces Du Genre Dans Le Rocher De Tanios Dans Le Contexte De La Critique Littéraire FéministeAziz Şeker, Emre Özcan
Né à Beyrouth, Amin Maalouf est considéré comme l’un des écrivains les plus importants d’aujourd’hui, avec ses romans écrits à partir de sa biographie familiale, ainsi que ses essais traitant des problèmes sociaux de notre époque. Dans ses romans écrits en français, Maalouf, tout en construisant les réalités socioculturelles et historiques de l’Orient, traite de différentes périodes dans le cadre de phénomènes tels que l’immigration, la guerre, l’exil, l’amour et l’identité. Au centre des changements sociaux, des réalités historiques et des tragédies individuelles émergées dans le pont entre l’Orient et l’Occident, la recherche sur les œuvres de Maalouf converge avec l’existentialisme, et les protagonistes du roman sont représentés dans les relations sociales dominées par cette philosophie. L’analyse de genre, qui occupe une place importante parmi ces relations, apparaît avec des problématiques différentes dans nombre de ses œuvres comme Origines, Le Rocher de Tanios et Samarcande. Le Rocher de Tanios, ayant obtenu le prix Goncourt, peut être évalué comme l’une de ses œuvres marquées des traces du genre. Tout au long du roman, on remarque facilement les rôles passifs des personnages féminins et les personnages masculins actifs dans la production du pouvoir. En ce sens, l’ouvrage mérite d’être analysé du point de vue du genre et de la critique féministe littéraire. Cet article traitera du roman Le Rocher de Tanios à la lumière des analyses de genre, et ouvrira une discussion pour questionner la création fictive de la réalité féminine et la caractérisation de son existence dans l’œuvre.
Tracing Gender in The Rock of Tanios in the Context of Feminist Literary CriticismAziz Şeker, Emre Özcan
Amin Maalouf was born in Beirut and is considered one of today’s most important writers for his essays dealing with the social issues of our time, particularly his novels based on his family biography. Maalouf discusses different periods within the framework of phenomena such as immigration, war, exile, love, and identity while constructing the sociocultural and historical realities of the Orient in his novels. Historical realities and individual tragedies emerged at the center of social changes in the bridge between East and West, and research on Maalouf’s works converge with existentialism, with the protagonists of his novels being represented through social relations dominated by this philosophy. Gender analysis occupies an important place among these relations and appears alongside various other issues in many of his works, from On Identity to The Rock of Tanios and Samarcand. Maalouf received the Goncourt Prize for The Rock of Tanios, which can be considered one of the works that bears the traces of its genre. Throughout the novel, one easily notices the female characters’ passive roles and the activeness of male characters in the production of power. In this sense, the work deserves to be analyzed in terms of gender in the context of feminist literary criticism. This article will deal with The Rock of Tanios in light of gender analyses and open up a discussion to question the fictional creation of female reality and the characterization of its existence in this work.
Maalouf’s (1993) novel The Rock of Tanios novel, which deals with events between 1821-1840 through the knowledge the author obtained from different sources, takes place witin a multicultural social structure. The years when Muhammad Ali of Egypt was the governor of Egypt constitute the work’s historical background and involved a period of conflicts with the Ottoman Empire when the Empire’s effects were still present. While Egypt had become stronger through reforms, the Ottoman Empire had regained its influence over Egypt thanks to the Convention of London and the contributions of Western powers. The novel takes place during this period of history, and in the novel, Maalouf tries to create a memory from the past with the role of a meta-narrator. The novel has representations of status, such as the Druze, Christian, and Muslim communities, as well as the various religious communities, clergy, overlords, and emirs. The Sheikh, who is in control of a village with a strong patriarchal structure and intense gender inequality, considers all women living under his authority as his own property, similar to other feudal lords. The novel deals with the female protagonist Lamia in particular and focuses on how her son, Tanios, had grown up with doubt about who his father is. Tanios escapes with his stepfather in conjunction with the murder of the Patriarch, and then the stepfather is punished. Tanios returns to his village as an administrator after the change in the administration’s mentality, and then tails out on a rock that will be named after him. Like the children of other rural women, Tanios was the Sheikh’s son. The women of the village never spoke of this secret of the village, nor were they allowed, as this could have caused conflict with male authority, which in itself is perceived as betrayal and sin. It could also have caused women to be exposed to much worse treatment socially. Maalouf dramatically conveys the fact that women are objectified, and their bodies are kept under control in this social structure. Female protagonists appear in front of the reader with different representations, while the author presents the female characters to be passive compared to the males. Just as this shows that servant women are found in the rich families, it also reminds the reader of the existence of slave markets as another reality. A concrete example in connection with this is Hosn-Jihane, who was with the Emir of the Mountains when he was sent to exile in Malta with his family. While the focal point of the novel is Tanios, other men such as the Sheikh, the Emir, Roukoz, and Gerios are found at the center of the novel’s plot. The female characters Lamia, Sheikha, Asma, and Thamar also occur in the novel with passive characteristics. In the context of gender sociology and feminist literary criticism, the women’s various stories such as the father of Lamia’s child being the village sheikh, the working mechanism of secrecy despite the generality of this tradition, the fact that the sheikha (i.e., the sheikh’s wife) knew and accepted this secret, and Thamar who is conversely trying to survive by selling her body offer important elements both in terms of the universe of the characters in the novel and in terms of the male writer’s criticism. Apart from the female characters’ secondary positions, another consequence of the novel involves how women are seen as property. Similar to Sheikh Francis, many other feudal lords are able to permeate into society by means of their power practices and their control over women’s bodies. The fact that the Sheikh was replaced by another Sheikh shows how the patriarchal sociocultural structure maintains the power of the system of sheikhdom by restricting women. Sociocultural construction does not take a step back regarding the production of inequalities against the female body. When one looks at the female representations, the women in the Sheikh’s life, as well as Lamia, are seen to be fictionalized by being completely objectified, as occurs in society. Likewise, when Asma’s father deems her marriage to another man to be appropriate rather than with Tanios whom she loves, Asma cannot overcome the conditions imposed on her. The fact that the novel chooses Thamar, the woman who lives by selling her body and who is quietly ignored by the male protagonist in Cyprus while planning to begin a life with Tanios emphasizes how women’s reality has been determined by male-dominated relations. Women in patriarchal societies are clearly not considered independent of the masculine codes constructed by social reality. In this sociological picture, women can unfortunately also become the carriers of hegemonic masculinity while determining the strategies to fight against the dynamics of inequality that shape their destiny. Tracing gender throughout novels should be noted to be a source of an important debate on the field of gender in terms of feminist literary criticism.