Kamel Daoud (DZ)

In conversation in French

Monday 7 May 2018 at 20:00 Dronningesalen
Journalist Karin Mørch and Kamel Daoud. Foto (Kamel Daoud): Claude Truong-Ngoc
Journalist Karin Mørch and Kamel Daoud. Foto (Kamel Daoud): Claude Truong-Ngoc


Standard 125 kr.
Diamondclub 75 kr.
Students 65 kr.



Follow us:
 Polemics about literature, religion and sex

In recent years, Kamel Daoud has become a central figure in a highly topical literary-cultural debate, originating in France, which has spread to large parts of Europe.

In 2011, his collection of short stories, Le minotaure 504, appeared. Two years later, he published his first novel, Meursault – contre-enquête, which gained the French award for the best debut novel of the year, Prix Goncourt du Premier Roman, and which caught people’s attention, because he rewrites Albert Camus’ classic novel L’Étranger (The Stranger), although seen from a diametrically opposed angle. In Daoud’s novel, the name of the narrator is Haroun, and he is a brother of the unnamed Algerian ‘the Arab’, who in Camus’ novel is killed almost by chance on a beach in Oran by the Frenchman Meursault, so that readers can study the killer’s absurd-existentialist life-crisis at close quarters.

In February 1916, Daoud wrote a controversial and much-discussed comment in The New York Times with the title The Sexual Misery of the Arab World. In it Daoud writes, among other things:

‘The attacks on Western women by Arab migrants in Cologne, Germany, on New Year’s Eve evoked the harassment of women in Tahrir Square itself during the heady days of the Egyptian revolution. The reminder has led people in the West to realize that one of the great miseries plaguing much of the so-called Arab world, and the Muslim world more generally, is its sick relationship with women.’

Because of both the novel, (published in Danish under the title Meursault – En modundersøgelse), and the newspaper comment, Daoud has been exposed in France to severe criticism from intellectual circles. In his review of the novel in Jyllands-Posten, Johs. H. Christensen wrote:

‘It may well be that French intellectuals have bludgeoned the Algerian journalist and critic of Islam Kamel into silence, but his novel is an eloquent and gifted comment on our age.’

In the daily newspaper Information, Tine Byrckel writes along similar lines:

‘The Goncourt committee is not mistaken in realising that the debut novelist Daoud has written a new small masterpiece that can profitably be studied for many years to come.’

Daoud will be interviewed on stage by the journalist Karin Mørch. The conversation will be in French, but summaries will be provided at intervals in Danish.


Organised in cooperation with Institut Français.