Bearing witness and documenting suffering in two Moroccan prison memoirs: Tazmamart: Cell 10 and from Skhirat to Tazmamart: a round trip ticket to hell

By Elham T. Hussein

This paper compares and contrasts two Moroccan prison memoirs: Tazmamart: Cell 10 and From Skhirat to Tazmamart: A Round Trip Ticket to Hell by Ahmed Marzouki and Mohamed Raiss respectively. The memoirs under discussion can be divided into three major parts: the first contextualizes the memoirs by discussing the events of the abortive coups against King Hassan II of Morocco in 1971 and 1972. The second is a detailed description of the gruesome conditions of Tazmamart, while the third is concerned with the post-prison experience. The two memoirs represent two fundamentally different ways of conveying the same story - and neither is better or worse. Since these memoirs are simultaneously political and literary, points of comparison and contrast will include the background to publication and translation, memoir covers, the three main sections, objectives for writing and the writing styles.

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