By Lia Nicole Brozgal
The paintings of Tunisian Jewish highbrow Albert Memmi, like that of many francophone Maghrebian writers, is usually learn as thinly veiled autobiography. wondering the existing physique of feedback, which maintains this interpretation of such a lot fiction produced via francophone North African writers, Lia Nicole Brozgal exhibits how such interpretations of Memmi’s texts imprecise their no longer inconsiderable theoretical possibilities.
Calling cognizance to the ambiguous prestige of autobiographical discursive and textual parts in Memmi’s paintings, Brozgal shifts the focal point from the writer to theoretical questions. opposed to Autobiography locations Memmi’s writing and notion in discussion with a number of significant serious shifts within the overdue twentieth-century literary and cultural panorama. those shifts comprise the concern of the authorial topic; the interrogation of the shape of the unconventional; the resistance to the hegemony of imaginative and prescient; and the critique of colonialism. exhibiting 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 gadgets, 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
23 Far from being a simple linguistic marker, “francophone” as defined by Reclus carried with it a distinctly colonial currency. ”26 Francophone and francophonie thus stand as categories distinct not from France and Frenchmen but from a certain kind of Frenchness—that of the metropolitan whose native tongue is French. For Reclus, then, francophonie is peripheral to an original center whose boundaries do not necessarily coincide with those of the nation. His definition thus contrasts sharply with the inclusive grammatical category of francophone peoples (which nominally denotes all speakers of French) by inscribing a perimeter around “authentic” native speakers within the national territory.
The fact is that the role of colonized writer is too difficult to sustain. ” At the same time, the text further universalizes its case by underscoring the linguistic drama common to all colonized writers compelled to use the language of their conquerors: “The emergence of a literature of a colonized people, the development of a consciousness by North African writers, for example, is not an isolated occurrence. ”2 Using the North African writer as his model—once again moving from the local to the global—Memmi would thus extrapolate a general theory of colonized writers working in European, or colonial, languages, in a move that ultimately sounded the death knell for colonized literature.
While a study of the relationship between francophone postcolonial literary production and the discourse of the death of the author need not necessarily focus exclusively on Barthes’s eponymous text, the choice to concentrate on “The Death of the Author” is rooted in its iconic status within the larger narrative of antiauthorial discourse and its historical relevance to the period in which Maghrebi cultural productions were emerging in France. Finally, in the context of writers from the putative periphery, Barthes’s essay is perhaps most poignant for what it does not say.