By Lia Nicole Brozgal
The paintings of Tunisian Jewish highbrow Albert Memmi, like that of many francophone Maghrebian writers, is frequently 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 vague their no longer inconsiderable theoretical possibilities.
Calling consciousness 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 areas Memmi’s writing and idea in discussion with a number of significant serious shifts within the past due twentieth-century literary and cultural panorama. those shifts contain 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 complicated literary items, that's, no longer easily as ethnographic curios yet as producing components of literary idea all alone phrases.
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Additional resources for Against Autobiography: Albert Memmi and the Production of Theory
16 For Memmi, in other words, the tale of the colonial situation required the voice of the colonized, yet it could not be complete without the voice of the colonizer. That the two were anthologized separately speaks to their different lived experiences and the distinct way in which they each expressed “le fait colonial”; that they are treated in consecutive tomes, linked by virtue of their prefaces, speaks to the invisible sutures that bound the two literary communities—geographically, linguistically, and temporally, if not always politically and culturally.
For if that is the case, and if the francophone author were to be declared “dead,” one must wonder what reader would be born to requite his passing. As Memmi has made clear, the reader (and critic) of the francophone text does not necessarily coincide—culturally, politically, linguistically—with its writer: “The North African writer, in the process of successfully expressing himself and certain new realities, has nonetheless not found his normal readership—that is, his true readership. ”72 The realization of the birth of the reader constitutes the final point of disconnection between Barthes’s manifesto and the situation of the francophone postcolonial writer.
The conditional tense of “should” implies that what Memmi himself once surmised might have happened in the wake of decolonization—the disappearance of French as the lingua franca of literary expression in the Maghreb—has not yet occurred. He thus allows doubt about the nature of francophonie to seep in between the lines of his third preface, suggesting that its advent may not be as patent as he would have his reader believe. In fact, the appearance of the terms francophone and francophonie in the preface to his 1985 anthology has 8 Of Authors and Archives important and largely unacknowledged ramifications for the place of Memmi in the development of postcolonial (literary and theoretical) discourse.