By Lia Nicole Brozgal
The paintings of Tunisian Jewish highbrow Albert Memmi, like that of many francophone Maghrebian writers, is frequently learn as thinly veiled autobiography. wondering the present physique of feedback, which maintains this interpretation of so much fiction produced by means of francophone North African writers, Lia Nicole Brozgal exhibits how such interpretations of Memmi’s texts vague their no longer inconsiderable theoretical possibilities.
Calling awareness to the ambiguous prestige of autobiographical discursive and textual components in Memmi’s paintings, Brozgal shifts the point of interest from the writer to theoretical questions. opposed to Autobiography areas Memmi’s writing and idea in discussion with numerous significant severe shifts within the overdue twentieth-century literary and cultural panorama. those shifts contain the problem of the authorial topic; the interrogation of the shape of the radical; the resistance to the hegemony of imaginative and prescient; and the critique of colonialism. displaying how Memmi’s novels and essays produce theories that resonate either inside and past their unique contexts, Brozgal argues for permitting works of francophone Maghrebi literature to be learn as advanced literary items, that's, no longer easily as ethnographic curios yet as producing parts of literary thought on their lonesome phrases.
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Additional info for Against Autobiography: Albert Memmi and the Production of Theory
Insofar as the discourse of feminist literary theory may be broadly said to foreground subaltern subjectivity, it provides an interesting parallel to the case of francophone writers. Feminist theory, however, has engaged with critical debates regarding the death of the author and authorship in ways that francophone studies has not. Furthermore, what is perhaps most useful about the feminist engagement with this concept is that it does not present a monolithic response to the critical imposition of an early death on a nascent writing subject; indeed, camps or individuals within feminist theory and criticism have produced nuanced and contradictory responses to the death of the author discourse.
The 1964 collection thus presents writ4 Of Authors and Archives ings by “Maghrebi writers of French expression”—authors who are from North Africa and whose language of (literary) expression is French. Being from North Africa, however, is not a discrete category. 11 It is a curious detail: what other kind of Maghrebi author might there be? The second anthology responds to that question with a surprising maneuver that reverses the conceit of the first by featuring an entirely different set of authors.
42 Unlike francophone studies and other facets of postcolonial studies, Said’s branch of the discipline takes Western texts as its objects of study, looking for the Orient as it is created in the imaginary of the Occident. ”43 Working in a different vein, the writers of The Empire Writes Back (1989) [hereafter ewb] turn their attentions to the cultural productions of the formerly colonized. ”44 “All the culture,” however, notably excludes productions originating from within the imperial countries, suggesting that the colonizer remained unaffected by the very process he had instigated and challenging, implicitly, Memmi’s assertion that the colonial situation deeply affected both the colonizer and the colonized.