Immigration, Sexuality, and Violence in Najat El Hachmi’s L’últim patriarca
Recent Catalan criticism has focused on place and space, but has overlooked temporality. Yet migrations are not only a matter of space, but also of time: immigration questions the idea of origins and the possibility of a shared future. Temporality, in fact, is a key axis in the formation of identities and in cultural conflicts, also in relation to the normative uses of the body. The coexistence of asynchronous temporalities provoked by immigration is a factor in both cultural and psychic conflict. Najat El Hachmi’s novel L’últim patriarca (2008) is an excellent example of these phenomena. Through a dialogue with the Catalan literary tradition and a focus on the shattering effects of anal sexuality, the novel problematizes biological reproduction and gender subordination, and challenges patriarchal temporality, understood as a succession of generations. This essay offers an integrated analysis of these issues by reference to psychoanalysis.