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The Algerian War in French/Algerian Writing

Literary Sites of Memory

Author(s): Jonathan Lewis

Language: English

Genre(s): Literary Criticism History

Series: French and Francophone Studies

October 2018256 pages216x138mm

Paperback - 9781786833044 eBook - epub - 9781786833068 eBook - mobi - 9781786833075 eBook - pdf - 9781786833051

About The Book

This is the first book-length study to analyse and problematize the notion of literary texts as ‘sites of memory’ with regard to the representation of the Algerian War of Independence (1954–62), and memories of it, in the work of French authors of Algerian origin. The book considers a primary corpus spanning over forty literary texts published between 1981 and 2012, analysing the extent to which texts are able to collect diverse and apparently competing memories, and in the process present the heterogeneous nature of memories of the Algerian War. By setting up the notion of literary texts as ‘sites of memory’, where the potentially explosive but also consensual encounter between former colonizer and colonized subject takes place, the book contributes to ongoing debates surrounding the contested place of narratives of empire in French collective memory, and the ambiguous place of immigrants from the former colonies and their children in dominant definitions of French identity.

Endorsements

‘Six decades on from its murderous paroxysm, the Algerian war remains unfinished business. In this important monograph, Jonathan Lewis charts the conflict’s memorial trace in the literary production of the Algerian diaspora in France, exploring and explaining writing as a privileged site for understanding this durably traumatic war of decolonization.’
- Dr Philip Dine, National University of Ireland, Galway

‘This book is essential reading. Lewis’s close, nuanced readings of literary texts are exemplary in the way they bring to the fore the significant contribution that literature can make to understanding the complex history of the Algerian war and its legacies. In doing so, Lewis makes the compelling and convincing case that to understand contemporary France we need to return to the open uncertainties of French/Algerian literature.’
- Patrick Crowley, University College Cork

Contents

Series Editors’ Preface
Acknowledgements
Introduction
Chapter 1: History and Fiction: Literary Spaces, Memorial
Spaces
Chapter 2: Marginalization, Violence and (Dis)Integration:
Sites of Republican Memory and Legacies of the
Algerian War
Chapter 3: The Entanglement of Dominant and Other
Histories: Representations of 17 October 1961
Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography
Index

About the Author(s)

Jonathan Lewis

Dr Jonathan Lewis is a Lecturer in French and Francophone Studies at Bangor University. His research interests lie in francophone postcolonial literature, memory, and prisons and incarceration.

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