Writing French Algeria

Hardcover | December 1, 1999

byPeter Dunwoodie

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Writing French Algeria is a groundbreaking study of the European literary discourse on French Algeria between the conquest of 1830 and the outbreak of the Algerian War in 1954. For the first time in English, this intertextual reading reveals the debate conducted within Algeria - and betweencolony and metropole - that aimed to forge an independent cultural identity for the European settlers. Through astute discussions of various texts, Peter Dunwoodie maps the representation of Algeria both in the dominant nineteenth-century discourse of Orientalism, via the litterature d'escale ofwriters such as Gautier or Fromentein, and in the colonial writing of Louis Bertrand, Robert Randau, and the `Algerianists' who played a critical role in the construction of the new `Algerian'. Dunwoodie shows how this ultimate construction relied on an extremely selective process which marginalizedthe indigenous people of the Maghreb in order to rediscover the country's `Latin' roots. The book also focuses on the dialogism operative in the works of Ecole d'Alger writers like Gabriel Audisio, Albert Camus, and Emmanuel Robles, interrogating the way in which their voices countered the closureof those earlier strategies and yet still articulated the unresolvable dilemma of an inherently unstable and impermanent minority whose identity remained grounded in otherness.

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From the Publisher

Writing French Algeria is a groundbreaking study of the European literary discourse on French Algeria between the conquest of 1830 and the outbreak of the Algerian War in 1954. For the first time in English, this intertextual reading reveals the debate conducted within Algeria - and betweencolony and metropole - that aimed to forge an ...

Peter Dunwoodie is Reader in European Languages at Goldsmiths College, University of London.

other books by Peter Dunwoodie

Format:HardcoverPublished:December 1, 1999Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198159722

ISBN - 13:9780198159728

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Table of Contents

The end of El DjezairOrientalist writing strategiesWriting the (in)visible: exotic and colonialist fictionThe politics of polarity: the colonial novel and the AlgerianistsIthaca revisited: the Mediterranean of the Ecole d'AlgerA dream deferredA question of belonging: the Ecole d'Alger and the colonial presence

Editorial Reviews

`As professor Dunwoodie reminds us, there is a huge secondary literature on Camus, but there is little understanding of the general literary milieu from which he sprang. This book provides just that, but it should be enjoyed for its own sake and not just as the key to Camus. It is a fine andrevealing history of how the French writers in Algeria wanted their presence in North Africa to be understood.'William B Cohen, African History, Vol.41, 2000.