Love in Two Languages

Abdelkebir Khatibi, Author University of Minnesota Press $0 (118p) ISBN 978-0-8166-1779-1
Readers may wish that the author had heeded the suggestion he himself voices in his first paragraph: ``The story should stop here, the book close upon itself.'' Alas, Khatibi, a North African making his English-language debut, plunges instead into a self-indulgent ``meditation'' (read: no plot and no drama) about the nature of language in general and the peculiar rootlessness of the bilingual in particular--and it has all been said before, more elegantly and more fruitfully. Khatibi succumbs to a fatal fondness for the rhetorical question (``What was it that he wanted? That she should be this abyss between him and himself, in their common language?''), which renders his academic phrasing (``I name myself in two languages in unnaming myself; I unname myself in telling my story'') less ludic than ludicrous. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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