Writing French Algeria is a groundbreaking study of the European literary discourse on French Algeria between the conquest of 1830 and the outbreak of the Algerian War in 1954. For the first time in English, this intertextual reading reveals the debate conducted within Algeria - and between colony and metropole - that aimed to forge an independent cultural identity for the European settlers. Through astute discussions of various texts, Peter Dunwoodie maps the representation of Algeria both in the dominant nineteenth-century discourse of Orientalism, via the littérature d'escale of writers such as Gautier or Fromentein, and in the colonial writing of Louis Bertrand, Robert Randau, and the `Algerianists' who played a critical role in the construction of the new `Algerian'. Dunwoodie shows how this ultimate construction relied on an extremely selective process which marginalized the indigenous people of the Maghreb in order to rediscover the country's `Latin' roots. The book also focuses on the dialogism operative in the works of École d'Alger writers like Gabriel Audisio, Albert Camus, and Emmanuel Roblès, interrogating the way in which their voices countered the closure of those earlier strategies and yet still articulated the unresolvable dilemma of an inherently unstable and impermanent minority whose identity remained grounded in otherness.
`Dunwoodie engages his subject without resort to the jargon of literary theory. His work is thus accessible.' William B Cohen, African History, Vol.41, 2000. `As professor Dunwoodie reminds us, there is a huge secondary literature on Camus, but there is little understanding of the general literary milieu from which he sprang. This book provides just that, but it should be enjoyed for its own sake and not just as the key to Camus. It is a fine and revealing history of how the French writers in Algeria wanted their presence in North Africa to be understood.' William B Cohen, African History, Vol.41, 2000.
Number Of Pages: 342
Published: 1st December 1999
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.4 x 14.3 x 2.4
Weight (kg): 0.5