Edited By Flocel Sabaté
“In the Name of Identity: Violence and the Need to Belong” by Amin Maalouf; a reflection on the notion of identity: Pere Solà
Universitat de Lleida
According to the jury that awarded the 2010 Prince of Asturias Award for Letters, Amin Maalouf was the author of a work that
[…] has lucidly addressed the complexity of the human condition […] from the viewpoint of historical fiction, providing a theoretical reflection. Using intense and suggestive language, Maalouf places us in the midst of the great Mediterranean mosaic of languages, cultures and religions, constructing a symbolic space for encounters and understanding. Against such feelings as hopelessness, resignation and victimisation, his work marks out its own path towards tolerance and reconciliation, providing a bridge that is built upon the common roots of different peoples and cultures.1
In his book Origins: a Memoir, which was published in 2004,2 the author claims that he belongs to:
A clan that has been nomadic from time immemorial in a desert as wide as the world. Our countries are oases that we leave when the spring goes dry; our houses are tents clad in stone, our nationalities a matter of dates and ships. The only thing connecting us to one another, beyond the generations, the seas, and the Babel of Languages, is the soft sound of a name.
Is a family name a homeland? Yes, that’s the way it is. And instead of religious faith, an old-fashioned faithfulness.
I’ve never had a true religious affiliation. If anything, I’ve had several incompatible ones. Nor have I ever...
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