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Postcolonial Thought in the French-speaking World$
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Charles Forsdick and David Murphy

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781846310546

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846319808

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date: 20 October 2018

Albert Memmi: The Conflict of Legacies

Albert Memmi: The Conflict of Legacies

(p.126) Chapter 9 Albert Memmi: The Conflict of Legacies
Postcolonial Thought in the French-speaking World
Patrick Crowley
Liverpool University Press

Albert Memmi published his first novel, The Pillar of Salt, in 1953. Since then, he has come up with works that offer a trenchant critique of colonialism, consistently bringing attention to the cultural imbrications caused by the colonial situation. Memmi has sought to tackle issues of domination and difference through his critiques of colonial society, his perspectives on racism, and his stand on issues ranging from nationalism to freedom, cultural assimilation, displacement, and alienation. His oeuvre leans towards reconciliation and social justice while highlighting the difficulties of complete assimilation and acculturation. Memmi's novels, including The Scorpion or the Imaginary Confession (1969), often deal with the mediation of difference. In his recent work, Memmi has argued that France's immigrant communities must integrate, even at the expense of their ‘difference’. He draws upon autobiographical experience and works it into ideal types or portraits in his work.

Keywords:   Albert Memmi, novels, Pillar of Salt, colonialism, France, domination, difference, ideal types, cultural assimilation, acculturation

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