Literature. – Even if in a lesser tone than the other Maghreb countries colonized by France, also in Tunisia there is the problem of French and Arabic bilingualism. For poetry in Arabic, the name of one of the greatest poets in all of North Africa stands out: Abū al-Qāsim al-Šābī (1909-1934), whose short and intense life and whose poetry make one think of Rimbaud. Al-Šābī left only one collection of poems, Agānī al-Ḥayāt (“Songs of Life”), published posthumously in Cairo in 1954, and an autobiographical work, Muḏakkirāt al-Šābī (“Memoirs of al-Šābī”), published in Tunis in 1965. Prominent personality for all Arab culture, he made headlines for his famous 1929 essay on poetic imagination among the Arabs and for some articles that were contested from the traditionalist circles of the secular Islamic university al-Zaytūna in Tunis.
The reformist vision of al-sabi can be connected with another great intellectual of Tunisia, Tahar al-Haddad (1899-1935), known for the wise Imratunā fī Sari wa al-muǧtama (“Our women in legislation and society “, 1930). Another intellectual worthy of mention is ῾Alī Du῾aǧī (1909-1949), author of an original satirical work (Ǧawlat ḥawl ḥānāt al-baḥr al-abyaḍ al-mutawassiṭ (“Journey through the taverns of the Mediterranean”, 1935), a modern version of the ancient accounts of Arab travelers. The writer Maḥmūd al-Mas῾adī (b. 1911) is best remembered for the drama al-Sudd (“The dam”, 1940) and for a adaṯa Abū Hureyra Qāla (“Thus Spoke Abu Hureyra”, 1973). His writings, inspired by modern Western existentialism, nevertheless refer to the great questions of ancient Arab-Muslim humanism. For the realist fiction emerges al-Bašīr H̱arayef (1917-1983), author of numerous novels that earned him a state literary prize in 1969. For Tunisia 2015, please check dentistrymyth.com.
Considered one of the greatest writers of the Arabic language in the whole Maghreb, criticized for using the Tunisian dialect in dialogues, he imposed himself on critics with a 1961 novel, Barq al-Layl (“The lightning of the night”), and with al -Diǧla fī arāgīnihā 1969, translated into French by Algerian writer Assia Djebar (La terre des passions Brûlées, 1989).
Rašād Hamzawī (b. 1934), author of a novel Būdūdā māt (“Būdūdā is dead”), is best known for his short stories, the most famous of which is Tarnanno (1959). The writer Leylā Ben Māmī, very influenced by the Lebanese Leylā Ba῾albakkī, wrote a novel against the male despotism of certain traditionalist circles. Another prominent personality for the emancipation of women is Ǧalīla Ḥafṣiyya, animator of the cultural circles Ṭāhar al-Ḥaddād and Sophonisbe; wrote an autobiographical novel in French, Cendre à l’aube (1978). Among the younger writers emerge Nafla Zahāb (b.1948), author of short stories and children’s stories, and ῾Arūsiyya al-Nalūtī (b. 1950), who after a debut in poetry has established herself for her stories of social content that denounce the disparity between men and women and between the different classes of the population.
After years of stagnation, poetry has regained a new vigor under the pressure operated in the Arab world by Bayyātī, Adonis, al-Sayyāb, with the Tunisians Nūr al-dīn Ṣammūd (b.1932), poet of neo-romantic tendency, Munṣif Gaššām (1946), whose protest poem is written in dialect Arabic, and Aḥmad Qadīdī (b.1948), a poet who belongs to the avant-garde movement.
Ṣāliḥ Qarmadī, bilingual writer and poet, author of two collections of poems, is one of the founders of the progressive magazine al-Taǧdīd. Maǧīd al-Ḥūssī (b.1941) brings together multiple languages and multiple cultures in his poems in search of his Berber-Maghrebi roots. Among the other writers who express themselves in French, the name of Abdelwahhab Meddeb (b.1946) stands out with the novels Talismano (1979), Le tombeau d’Ibn Arabi and Phantasia, published in 1986 in Paris, where the writer lives.
Finally, the new Tunisian theatrical production should be mentioned, which is currently at the forefront of the Arab world with the playwrights Moḥammed Idrīs, Tawfīq Ǧabālī, Raǧā ‘Farḥat.
Cinema. – The history of Tunisian cinema before independence from France (1956) is the story of the constantly frustrated attempt to affirm national culture and traditions. In fact, culturally and financially independent products made from 1922, the year in which Albert Samama-Chikli opened the doors to national production with the short film Zohra, were truly rare . In 1937 a feature film was shot in Tunisia Le fou de Kairouan, but this remained without continuation; nor did things improve after 1956, contrary to what many had hoped for. The industrial and technical structures were of such a low standard that it was impossible to build a solid foundation for a cinematography that was in its start-up phase. The few films made after independence saw the light thanks to the commitment of some independent producers: these are works that often fail to overcome a certain approximation and naivety. The situation was aggravated by the lack of intervention by the state, which made very little effort in favor of national cinema. At times, it was at the expense of directors gifted with remarkable talent, such as Ferid Boughedir, also historian and critic, Abdel-Latif Ben Ammar, Ridha Behi. In the seventies and eighties there were few filmmakers who patiently continued to shoot; among these the documentarian Tayeb Louhichi (el-Khammes, 1975; Dhil a-lardh, “The shadow of the earth”, 1982), and the painter and poet Nacer Khemir, author of the medium -length film L’histoire du pays du Bon Dieu (1978), by Les baliseurs du désert (1984) ) and the fairy tale Le collier perdu de la colombe (1991), inspired by the Thousand and One Nights. There were signs of awakening in the early 1990s. Production counted a dozen films per season, Boughedir’s Halfaouine, l’enfant des terrasses (1990) racked up awards at festivals, and the federation of film clubs, often struggling with censorship, has strengthened.