Autobiography and Independence

Self and Identity in North African Writing in French

Debra Kelly

£50.00
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ISBN: 9780853236597

Publication: April 1, 2003

Series: Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures 2

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This book offers an in-depth study of the autobiographical writings of four twentieth-century writers from North Africa, Assia Djebar, Mouloud Feraoun, Abdelkébir Khatibi and Albert Memmi, as they explore issues of language, identity and the individual’s relationship to history. The book places these writers in a clearly defined theoretical context, introducing and contextualising each of the four through the application of postcolonial studies and literary theory on autobiography linked to close textual reading of their works. Avoiding both psychoanalytical theory and approaches concerned primarily with the writer’s ‘testimony value’, Kelly concentrates instead on the poetic and literary qualities of each author’s work, dwelling on the politics and poetics of identity, as well as the ethics and aesthetics of this literature. She includes clear discussions of key terms such as ‘postcolonial’, ‘Francophone’, and ‘autobiography’, which current academic discourse has rendered very complex and even opaque. The book includes a fascinating photograph of two stone tablets inscribed with Punic and Numidian scripts, now held in the British Museum, which Assia Djebar writes about at length in one of the texts studied in the book.

Acknowledgements Copyright Acknowledgements Introduction: A Place in the Word 1 Life/Writing in the Colonial and Postcolonial Contexts Autobiography, Autobiographical Expression, Fictions of Identity Postcolonial Studies, The Post Colonial Subject and Motivated Reading Studies 2 Mouloud Feraoun: Life Story, Life-Writing, History Naming the Poor Man's Son: Identity and the Colonised Subject in 'Le Fils du pauvre' Poverty, Knowledge and Self-Knowledge A Dialogue with Self and Others: 'Lettres a ses amis' Witnessing History, the Self as Witness: Journal 1955-1962. p. 3 Albert Memmi: Fictions of Identity and the Quest for Truth Negotiating a Jewish Identity: the Stationary Nomad Poverty, Self-Knowledgeand Political Knowledge in 'La Statue de sel' p. The Self as Writer in 'Le Scorpion ou la confession imaginaire' 4 Abdelkebir Khatibi: The Deciphering of Memory and the Potential of Postcolonial Identity Writing and the Multiple Discourses of Selfhood Memory, Myth and the Postcolonial Subject in 'La Memoire tatouee' Writing strategies and the Deciphering of a 'Tattoed Memory' 5 Assia Djebar: History, Selfhood and the Possession of Knowledge The (Re-) Possession of Knowledge and the Relationship to History in 'L'Amour, la fantasia' Myth, Metaphor and the Power of Language Exile, the History or Writing and the Quest for Liberation in 'Vaste est la Prison' Love and Self-knowledge The History of writing Knowledge and Selfhood Conclusion: A Place in the World Notes Bibliography Index

Format: Hardback

Size: 239 x 163 mm

408 Pages

Copyright: © 2003

ISBN: 9780853236597

Publication: April 1, 2003

Series: Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures 2

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