Politics, Poetics and the Algerian Novel

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Examines the development of the Francophone Algerian novel, the circumstances of its emergence, and the various phases of its progress through the pre-independence period, and the extent to which this parallels the political evolution of Algerian nationalism exemplified in the nationalist leader Ferhat Abbas. In focuses on the major themes discussed in the novels, and surveys the criticism of both French and Algerian intelligentsia. The conclusion examines the post-independence literary movement.


“Salhi. . . . refers to the years 1908-47 as the period of imitation and assimilation, and to 1047-50 as a transitional period. Salhi has placed such writers as Feraoun, Mohammed Dib, Mouloud Mammeri, and Kateb Yacine in the periods of revelation, realism, alienation, and revolution. She devotes a chapter to women in the Algerian novel of the 1950s. her conclusion and epilogue articulate postindependence concerns. . . . includes excellent bibliographies of primary and secondary sources and of the Francophone Algerian novel in general.” - CHOICE

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
Preface by Margaret A. Majumdar
1. Colonial Algeria: History and Culture
2. The Emergence of the Francophone Novel in Algeria: Literary Tourists and the Exotic Novel; the Algerianist Literary Movement; L’Ecole d’Alger
3. The Period of Imitation and Assimilation (1908-1947): Critical Reception; Chukri Khodja, El-Euldj, captif des barbaresques; Saad Ben Ali and René Pottier, La Tente noire, roman saharien; Said Guennoun, La Voix des monts – moeurs de guerres berbères; Aissa Zehar, Hind à l’áme pure ou histoire d’une mère; Djamila Débêche, Leila, jeune fille d’Algerie
4. A Transitional Period (1947-1950): Aly el-Hammamy, Idris; Taos Amrouche, Jacinthe noire
5. A Period of Revelation (1950-1952): Mouloud Feraoun, Le Fils du pauvre; Mohammed Dib, La Grande maison; Mouloud Mammeri, La Colline oubliée; Political Polemic
6. Realism, Alienation and Revolution (1953-1959) The Algerian Novel Comes of Age: Mouloud Feraoun, La Terre et le sang and Les Chemins quie montent; Mouloud Mammeri, Le Sommeil du juste; Mohammed Dib, L’Incendie and Le Métier á tisser ; Kateb Yacine, Nedjma
7. Women in the Algerian Novel of the Fifties: Algerian Women as Seen by the Male Novelists - Symbolic Visions of Women, Realistic Views of Women in their Social Context, Mohammed Dib, Un Eté africain. Algerian Women Speak for Themselves – Djamila Débêche, Aziza; Assia Djebar, La soif and Les Impatients
8. A Literature of Struggle (1962-1965): Assia Djebar, Les Enfants du nouveau monde; Mohammed Dib, Qui se souvient de la mer; Mouloud Mammeri, L'Opium et le bâton
Conclusion and Epilogue: Post-Independence Concerns
Appendix One: Plot summaries
Appendix Two: Biographical notes
Appendix Three: Bibliography of the Francophone Algerian Novel (1908-1986)
Bibliography, Index

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