Life as Fiction: the Autofictional Turn in Women’s Writing of the Maghreb Cover Image

« La Vie comme fiction : le tournant autofictionnel dans la littérature féminine du Maghreb »
Life as Fiction: the Autofictional Turn in Women’s Writing of the Maghreb

Author(s): Nancy Nabil Ali
Subject(s): French Literature
Published by: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Uniwersytetu Marii Curie-Sklodowskiej
Keywords: autobiography ; autofiction ; collective autobiography ; autofiction ; storytellers ; postcolonial literature ; feminisation of history

Summary/Abstract: The twentieth century witnessed the birth of a feminine strand of autofictional writing coming from the ancient colonies, of which Fantasia: An Algerian Cavalcade, by the francophone Algerian writer Assia Djebar, and the Arabic Memory in the flesh, by the Algerian writer Ahlam Mosteghanemi, are emblematic. Whether it be in the Arabic or French language, the women writers of the Maghreb risked writing an autobiography in a culture that stresses the anonymity of women. The coming to writing for these women is often accompanied by a desire – or necessity – to revisit the collective past from a female perspective. For these women, literary writing also meant writing their stories on the palimpsest of dominant history, in order to carve their place in it. To fight the forced amnesia of historical discourse constructed by man, they must create works that give voice to the stories silenced by the totalizing male narrative. Djebar and Mosteghanemi both insist that the emancipation of women is possible only if the subaltern woman becomes subject not object of her story/history.

  • Issue Year: 40/2016
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 57-81
  • Page Count: 25
  • Language: French