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Soraya Belkhiria, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17

October 17th, 2016 | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Soraya Belkhiria, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17
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photo-du-08-10-2016-a-13-02My name is Soraya Désirée Belkhiria, I am 3/4 French and 1/4 Tunisian. I was born in Paris and was lucky to grow up in Versailles, in a street that leads straight to the Palace’s park.

I remember being intrigued by books before I could even read, and they have always been very integrated into my everyday life. As a child I was a fervent adept of replaying the story lines from Dumas or Hugo novels with my toys. My collection of books grew as I did, and is perpetually being reorganized and on the verge of chaos at the same time.

I’ve been a very busy student. After two years in preparatory classes, which is a kind of French torture device composed of Latin, philosophy, literature, Greek and 6 hours dissertations every Saturday morning among other things, I graduated in French literature at the university of Paris Diderot (Paris VII). I have also had a very nice time studying for my second bachelor in Korean Language, Literature and Civilisation at the INALCO (National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations).

I have very varied interests and like mixing things that don’t go well together in an obvious way, like playing hip hop music while reading Sade, or running while listening to an audiobook of one of Corneille’s plays. So it’s quite naturally that I chose comparative literature for my research master, which last for two years in France. During my first year I wrote about the autodiegetic narrative as a mean of exploring one’s inwardness and building personality in The Devil in the Flesh by Raymond Radiguet and The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. During the second one I undertook a bigger research project as I wrote about the exhibition of the psyche in William S. Burroughs and Jean Genet’s novels. For me books are a really special medium because they favour insubordination and independent thinking in a way that no other can, from reading with a lamp torch underneath your bed sheets to being able to experience the writing of jailed criminals or morphine junkies.

One thing I enjoyed quite a lot during my time at the university was reviewing my peers’ academic work, to help them articulate their ideas and structure their work in a way that would make it an enjoyable read for non specialists of their subject. This was particularly true concerning dissertations written by INALCO students, because one of the goals of this institute is to make knowledge about distant cultures available and understandable in Europe. So I came to Stirling University to study publishing with the idea of becoming an editor, but in just a few short weeks I discovered that there is a lot more to making books and I decided to use this year to explore all the fascinating aspects there is to it before choosing a career. I’m also very glad to be in Scotland, and to be able to enjoy a campus that feels like a breath of fresh air compared to a busy city like Paris!

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