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 present physique of feedback, which keeps this interpretation of such a lot fiction produced by means of francophone North African writers, Lia Nicole Brozgal indicates how such interpretations of Memmi’s texts vague their now not 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 locations Memmi’s writing and concept in discussion with a number of significant severe shifts within the past due 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 of 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 components of literary conception all alone 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.
50 Such assertions might explain the centrality of the subject for francophone postcolonial literature and its critical apparatus. ”51 However, given the particular history of this relatively new literature and its relationship to critical theory, it is not clear that the returned subject (post–“death of the author”) and the subject at the center of francophone postcolonial literature are one and the same. In other words, whereas the subject questioned and temporarily exiled by the death of the author has now returned, the postcolonial subject has, in fact, never been questioned, never been metaphorically annihilated, and therefore may not be the same subject “resurrected” in and by contemporary theory.
This requires a notion of literary representation that does not conceive of the problem of representation as the presentation of different images of the colonial, some more progressive than others. It requires an end to the collusion of historicism and realism by unseating the Transcendental subject, the origin of writing as linear time consciousness. . 70 According to Bhabha, it is only by moving beyond these types of readings and the (unreasonable) demand for a transcendental “colonial” subject that a notion of representation not based on difference can be achieved.
Against Autobiography: Albert Memmi and the Production of Theory by Lia Nicole Brozgal