Abstract

This article questions the formative role that Bertolt Brecht is regarded to have had on Algerian writer Kateb Yacine’s political theater in the 1970s and 80s. While Brecht did indeed play an important role in Algerian theater in the post-independence era, the assumption that he singularly shaped political theatrical forms in Algeria masks the particular trajectory of Kateb’s work. Focusing specifically on his play Mohamed prends ta valise, this essay revisits the broad historical and political contexts of Kateb’s theater to underscore the particularity of his practice after 1971 and to broaden the limiting analytic frames that cast his work in Brechtian terms. Attending to the important influence of local folk forms and Marxism-Leninism on Kateb’s practice, I call attention to both the multiple vectors that shaped his work and further question the flattening effect of metropolitan theater histories that decontextualize Brechtian practice as they ascribe influence.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2044
Print ISSN
0034-5210
Pages
pp. 72-86
Launched on MUSE
2013-07-26
Open Access
No
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