Francophone Literatures: An Introductory Survey

By Belinda Jack | Go to book overview

8
ALGERIA

It was Algeria's relative separation from France during the Second World War which stimulated and encouraged writers, intellectuals and publishers to form new groups, and strengthen those which already existed, within the country. The most influential was the École d'Alger which had been set up during the mid-1930s. Earlier groups, made up of the so-called Algérianistes, for example, had had quite different concerns. Associated with this group the colonial writers Louis Bertrand, Jean Pomier, and Robert Randau, for example, celebrated the energy and dynamism of the colonial venture. Gabriel Audisio, on the other hand, a major figure within the École d'Alger (he suggested the name), proposed, in his earlier writings, not the re-Christianized North Africa expounded by Bertrand and his followers, but a Mediterranean Africa, a melting-pot of races and cultures. Any writing in French which emanated from this hybrid cultural space would, however, be French. In a somewhat confused argument, Audisio claimed : 'Il n'y a qu'une littérature française à Genéve comme au Japon, à Bruxelles comme à Alger; le jour où nous viendrait d'Algérie un nouveau Discours sur la méhode, nous ne nous soucierions pas plus de le tenir pour algérien que l'autre pour hollandais.'1 Similarly, a few years later he argued that'll n'y a pas, il n'y a jamais eu de littérature algérienne. Nous entendons exprimer par là qu'il n'existe pas, ou du moins pas encore, une littérature autonome et spécifique dont le caractére soit affirmé par l'existence d'une langue, d'une race, d'une nation proprement algérienne.'2

____________________
1
"'L'Algérie littéraire'", Algérie-Sahara, ii. Encyclopédie coloniale et maritime( 1948), 246; cited by Jean Déjeux, Littérature maghrébine( Montreal, 1973), 18.
2
"'Les Écrivains algériens'", Visages de l'Algérie ( Paris, 1953), 99; cited by Déjeux, Littérature maghrébine, 18.

-165-

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Francophone Literatures: An Introductory Survey
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Acknowledgements *
  • Contents *
  • PART I - Europe and North America 23
  • 1 - Belgium 25
  • 2 - Switzerland 41
  • 3 - Quebec and French Canada 57
  • Guide to Further Reading 96
  • PART II - Creole Island 101
  • 4 - Antilles and Frenxh Guiana 103
  • 5 - Haiti 130
  • 6 - Mauritius 144
  • 7 - La Réunion 152
  • Guide to Further Reading 156
  • PART III - North Africa and the Near East 161
  • 8 - Algeria 165
  • 9 - Morocco 185
  • 10 - Tunisia 196
  • 11 - Egypt 207
  • 12 - Lebanon 209
  • Guide to Further Reading 212
  • PART IV - Sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar 217
  • 13 - Sub-Saharan Africa 219
  • 14 - Madagascar 267
  • Guide to Further Reading 274
  • Conclusion 277
  • Select Bibliography 282
  • Index 283
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