Timimoun A French-to-English translation project
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Unlike most university work in the sphere of French literature, this project is not about literary interpretation or criticism. It is about the joy of words. When critics speak of Rachid Boudjedra, they emphasize first his political agenda and then his style of narration, always focusing on meaning. By doing this, however, they miss out on the third important element of his writing--the beauty of his language. Rachid Boudjedra is simply an expert wordsmith. He understands and manipulates the French language in a way that few others can, and when he is at his peak, language fractures and distorts. Sentences break down into fragments or ramblings. Discordant juxtapositions of nouns and adjectives make familiar objects seem alien. Lyric imagery makes prose poetic. All of this does not create ugliness, however, but an enthralling beauty. This bizarre and terrible beauty is what captures the attention of readers and keeps them reading long enough to receive Boudjedra' s meaning, his message. I will leave you to decipher what Rachid Boudjedra is trying to say with his novel, Timimoun. I have merely tried to follow his words as closely as I could, to transfer their beauty and the oddity into English. Language is a game. Sit back and watch the master play. Enjoy.