Autobiography and Independence: Self and Identity in North by Debra Kelly

By Debra Kelly

In Autobiography and Independence, Debra Kelly examines 4 complete Francophone North African writers—Mouland Feroan, Assia Djebar, Albert Memmi, and Abdelk?bir Khatibi—to remove darkness from the advanced dating of a writer's paintings to cultural and nationwide histories. The legacies of colonialism and the problems of nationalism run all through all 4 writers' works, but of their outstanding individuality, the 4 exhibit the ways that such heritages are refracted via a writer's own background. This ebook may be of curiosity to scholars of Francophone literature, colonialism, and African historical past and tradition. (10/10/2006)

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Extra resources for Autobiography and Independence: Self and Identity in North African Writing in French (Liverpool University Press - Contemporary French & Francophone Cultures)

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Like these critics, Bart Moore-Gilbert remains optimistic, especially in the domain of comparative analysis across cultural contexts, despite a suspicion that the postcolonial ‘moment’ has been and gone, or at least ‘dissipated’. Moore-Gilbert remains aware of the power relationship between the discipline and its objects of study, and argues that the pressing issue is how to conceptualise the relationship between these plural kinds of postcolonial identity and the wide variety of cultural forms and modes of cultural analysis to which they give rise.

Alec Hargreaves and Mark McKinney also discuss the problem of postcolonial theory being simply an addition to the other ‘posts’ that indicate a crisis in Western theory and as such failing to reflect the real concerns of the cultures it seeks to read and re-read. 94 Charles Forsdick and David Murphy, in Francophone Postcolonial Studies, emphasise the positive contribution of Postcolonial Studies in a further useful discussion of its development. They remark both on the ways in which Postcolonial Studies have led English literature departments to revise the literary canon (a point also made by James Olney, as cited earlier) and on the willingness within the field to ‘refine the object of its research in the light of criticisms of earlier definitions’, taking as an example the use or non-use of the hyphenated form.

The discourse of French critics, even when they are writing positively about literatures in French from outside the metropole, is often unsettling to the British, American and Australian critics who choose their vocabulary more carefully in a postcolonial context. An example is the introduction to a collection of papers from a major conference held in France in 1994 dedicated to Francophone autobiography, in which these writings are referred to as ‘les littératures francophones de la périphérie’63 (‘Francophone literatures of the periphery’), while their ‘problématiques esthétiques toutes contemporaines’ (‘completely contemporary aesthetic problematics’) are nonetheless valued.

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