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Assia Djebar - The Writer As a Postcolonial Intellectual

By A. Engelenburg


Algeria became independent from France in 1962 and there was hope of a glorious new Algerian nation that would arise. However, Algeria became a totalitarian state that oppressed its own people and lead them into a civil war. Algerian author Assia Djebar has written from the early stages of independence until the civil war of the 1990s and in her writing her reflection on her own role as a writer, who can contribute to the new nation, changes. In this paper I will look at Djebar's reflection on her role as a writer and compare Djebar's writing process with the different stages of the narration of the nation that theorists Franz Fanon and Réda Bensmaïa have described, ending with Bensmaïa's concept of the experimental nation as the final stage of the narration of the nation. Moreover, Djebar seems to develop an understanding of the writer as an intellectual, as defined by Edward Said. It will be interesting to see how Djebar develops her reflection on the role of the writer as intellectual in general and in the narration of the (post)colonial nation in particular. Will she go through all the phases of the nation’s narration as defined by Bensmaïa and Fanon? Or will she undermine these phases as well? In this study I will try to find an answer to all these question

Topics: Letteren, Postcolonialism, Bensmaïa, experimental nations, Deleuze, Djebar, Intellectual, Said.
Year: 2009
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