MTL: What did the Michel Foucault character represent for you? Hope? An example? A dream?
AT: The man who worked for the “Salvation Army” in Geneva in the third part of the book looked exactly like French philosopher Michel Foucault. I have always been fascinated by Foucault. Not only intellectually but also physically. When I was 19 years old, I had this fantasy of being his student and perhaps more, his slave. My first name, Abdellah, means the “slave of God” in Arabic. Michel Foucault is a kind of god to me.
SALVATION ARMY By Abdellah Taïa Semiotexte (semiotexte.com ) $14.95; 160 pages “Salvation Army” is the first novel by Abdellah Taïa, acknowledged as modern Morocco’s first openly gay autobiographical writer. Now a resident of Paris, he is also the author of the non-fiction books “Mon Maroc” and “Le Rouge du Tarbouche,” as well as other works.