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

By Debra Kelly

In Autobiography and Independence, Debra Kelly examines 4 entire Francophone North African writers—Mouland Feroan, Assia Djebar, Albert Memmi, and Abdelk?bir Khatibi—to light up the complicated courting 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 remarkable individuality, the 4 reveal the ways that such heritages are refracted via a writer's own historical past. This booklet may be of curiosity to scholars of Francophone literature, colonialism, and African background and tradition. (10/10/2006)

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

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Et pourtant, nous constatons bien une émergence du ‘je’ dans la narration chez un certain nombre d’auteurs lors de la naissance de cette littérature maghrébine, mais surtout dans les récits de vie. Les romanciers ont voulu mettre en évidence leur moi, ceci dans un contexte d’acculturation française et de modèles venant de l’école moderne occidentale, mais aussi dans une évolution des pays maghrébins eux-mêmes vers la modernité aux prises avec les changements socioéconomiques et les mutations dans les mentalités sous la pression de l’étranger colonisateur, hier, et des bouleversements intervenant dans le monde.

62 Among the assumptions that have been referred to above is the underlying assumption among many French critics that the French school and the French language are forces for good, providing the tools that enable Auto & Ind pages rev again 1/2/05 4:27 PM Page 33 Life/Writing in the Colonial and Postcolonial Contexts 33 a kind of liberation through language (French as the language of selfhood, as Déjeux declares it). The origins of this assumption lie in the discourse of the French Republican model, which I will discuss further below.

66 (Now it is no longer my own: it shares in that reality which is the language of my brothers, my sister, and the language of my parents. 67 It has been suggested in an analysis of Black autobiography that all autobiography is minority autobiography, that every autobiographer is isolated and questions the relationship between the minority constituted by the individual and the majority, not feeling any ‘kinship with anything outside its own limitations’. 68 This question of the forms such discourses of the self might take has been extensively treated in feminist studies of autobiography and in, for example, Black Studies, both in Britain and the USA.

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