“Ce monde qui s’écroule en nous” : Abdellatif Laâbi’s apocalyptic consciousness
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This report examines how francophone Moroccan poet Abdellatif Laâbi constructs an apocalyptic worldview in three of his poems from the early 1990s. These poems (“Éloge de la défaite,” “Le soleil se meurt,” and “Les écroulements”) rely on a double register of the word “apocalypse” that incorporates both its religious and secular connotations, which allows Laâbi to engage with questions of redemption and futility. The apocalypse manifests itself in imagery of both the disintegrating human body and the polluted environment, emphasizing the ecological interconnectedness of humanity and the non-human environment, as well as the role of the human in the planet’s destruction. I argue that this reading of Laâbi’s apocalyptic poems opens up a new understanding of his political engagement and humanism as he interrogates the possibility of a reformed humanity.