Francophone Literatures: An Introductory Survey

By Belinda Jack | Go to book overview

10
TUNISIA

BY comparison with francophone Moroccan and particularly francophone Algerian writing, Tunisian writing in French is relatively marginal in terms of the country's literary production. The tradition of writing in Arabic was little disrupted by the French presence in Tunisia and, as a French Protectorate, teaching in Arabic continued alongside the introduction of French educational structures. Some schools, the College Sadiki most notably, taught in both languages; many, on the other hand, continued to use only Arabic.

There is, however, a French colonial tradition of writing in French. Georges Duhamel is one of the best-known French writers for whom Tunisia is the locus of much of their work. His widely read Prince Jaffar was published in 1946. Earlier texts were written by Charles Boussinot, Charles and Claire Genieaux, and Magali Boisnard. It was not until the second decade of this century that Tunisians first published in French. A small group of writers should be mentioned, including Salah Farhat, Mahmoud Asian, Mustapha Kourda, Ahmed Chergui, Salah Ettri, Tahar Essaft, Mohammed Nomane.

With the accession to Independence in 1956, the tradition of bilingualism was strengthened by the Tunisian government's decision both to expand education and to teach bilingually throughout the school system. Before Independence the use of French by writers was generally viewed with suspicion. After Independence, and as the first generation of bilingually educated Tunisians emerged from the school system, the question of choice of language was viewed as less politically significant given that the nationalist debate had entered a new phase.

By and large francophone Tunisian writers have published their

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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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