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Decolonising the IntellectualPolitics, Culture, and Humanism at the End of the French Empire$
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Jane Hiddleston

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781781380321

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781380321.001.0001

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Mouloud Feraoun Postcolonial Realism,or, the Intellectual as Witness

Mouloud Feraoun Postcolonial Realism,or, the Intellectual as Witness

(p.174) 5 Mouloud Feraoun Postcolonial Realism,or, the Intellectual as Witness
Decolonising the Intellectual

Jane Hiddleston

Liverpool University Press

Feraoun's writing about the period leading up to decolonisation in Algeria, in both his Journal 1955-62 and his novels, is distinctive for its attention to the everyday and for its attempts at realism. Less concerned to create an overarching theory of national culture or universal humanism, Feraoun in his journal expresses openly his anxieties regarding his position as a partially assimilated Kabylian intellectual. This chapter begins by exploring the use of the diary form to convey the ‘reality’ of the Algerian conflict and to elaborate a humanism based not on theory, but on the observation of lived experience. The second part of the chapter turns to Feraoun's novels, which, in defiance of the recent critical penchant for experimental and (post)modernist forms of writing, deploy a realist attention to detail as a mode of critique. Nevertheless, this is a realism that strains against convention and raises questions concerning its own purported immediacy and accessibility.

Keywords:   Feraoun, diary, Algerian War, realism, novel

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