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Autobiography and IndependenceSelfhood and Creativity in North African Postcolonial Writing in French$
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Debra Kelly

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780853236597

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846312625

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Conclusion: A Place in the World

Conclusion: A Place in the World

Chapter:
(p.334) Conclusion: A Place in the World
Source:
Autobiography and Independence
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9780853236597.003.0007

This chapter summarizes the preceding discussions and presents some final thoughts. The four writers examined became, to varying degrees, alienated from their traditional cultural environment and made an intellectual effort in order to cope with that alienation. At the same time, all of them analyse the predicament of the colonial and postcolonial intellectual, frequently retaining a solidarity with their community while being critical of it. They are also all clear on the need to write themselves out of dominant systems of representation, to remove themselves as inventions of the colonial imagination, while simultaneously decolonising themselves from that colonial imagination and from their own ambivalent desire for the West; to posit themselves as subjects. The chapter also raises two rather more open-ended issues that have hovered around many of the readings here. The first is the challenge that all of these writers pose to the notion of the hegemony of European historical, philosophical and literary discourses; the second concerns their contribution to debates concerning identity, whether of individuals or groups, at various levels of contemporary society, and to the role of the writer and to literature generally.

Keywords:   alienation, colonial intellectual, postcolonial intellectual, hegemony, European discourse, identity

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