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Postcolonial PoeticsGenre and Form$
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Patrick Crowley and Jane Hiddleston

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781846317453

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846317187

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date: 20 November 2018

Algerian Letters: Mixture, Genres, Literature Itself

Algerian Letters: Mixture, Genres, Literature Itself

(p.129) Algerian Letters: Mixture, Genres, Literature Itself
Postcolonial Poetics

Patrick Crowley

Liverpool University Press

This chapter presents a reading of the travel writings of the nineteenth-century French painter Eugène Fromentin (1820–76), whose work is seen as having inaugurated French Algerian literature; and the work of the Algerian writer and trained historian, Assia Djebar (b. 1937), who, with the publication of L'Amour, la fantasia, began a quartet of novels that sought to represent Algeria in ways distinct from French and nationalist Algerian forms. It addresses the following questions: What kinds of relationship can exist between the postcolonial writer and the organon of ‘universal’ models that has been bequeathed? And what kind of nation is at stake? In asking these questions, the chapter focuses on the letter — the ‘form’ adopted by Fromentin to organize his travel narrative, his representation of Algeria; and it is a leitmotif within Djebar's L'Amour, la fantasia.

Keywords:   travel writings, French painter, Eugène Fromentin, Assia Djebar, Algeria, letters, postcolonial literature

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