African Visions: Literary Images, Political Change, and Social Struggle in Contemporary Africa

By Cheryl B. Mwaria; Silvia Federici et al. | Go to book overview

17
Writing In and Out of Algeria, Writing Algeria, Today

Soraya Mekerta

What does it mean, today, to write in Algeria? Never before, in the history of Algeria, has the question been charged with such serious consequences as the loss of one's life, the threat of losing one's life, being condemned to death (and not always knowing it), or living in forced exile. All of this creates a climate of total fear and uncertainty. Thus, one may wonder why, why would any one continue to write?

Writing in Algeria today raises acutely, and appropriately, the question of implications. It is absolutely impossible not to implicate oneself in the unfolding of current events, and dissociate that from writing. Clearly, when the very act of writing means that one might, with more certainty than probability, lose one's life, it becomes all the more filled with an overtone of seriousness, one which carries a sense of urgency, a heavy weight: that of the hundreds and thousands of bodies . . ., fallen bodies, bodies torn, and tortured, and raped, and blown in so many pieces, that they become nameless, nameless bodies. . . .

"Le silence c'est la mort, et toi si tu te tais tu meurs, et si tu parles tu meurs, alors dis et tu meurs" (Silence is death, and if you keep quiet, you die, and if you speak you die, so speak and you die), explains Assia, one of the characters in Algérie en éclats. 1 One of the poignant elements of the play is the fact that the characters keep on rehearsing the play, knowing perfectly well how ludicrous it is, since it will never be enacted. 2 In spite of this, they rehearse, defying both silence and death as they report current events, denounce daily atrocities, and dare remember passages from books, and articles from newspapers, as they immortalize their authors. 3 Ludicrous? Perhaps not, if one considers the power of words, in this case, even of one's words to oneself. For, there are such things as the unbearable, and the unspeakable, and more so then, than ever, the ability to enunciate the unbearable and the unspeakable becomes, to a certain degree, affirming and liberating, if one can say that, when considering the case of Algeria and the

-245-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
African Visions: Literary Images, Political Change, and Social Struggle in Contemporary Africa
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 282

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.