By Debra Kelly
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Additional resources for Autobiography and independence : selfhood and creativity in North African postcolonial writing in French
89 More generally there is a political issue concerning the use of language in former colonised territories. As John Erickson has put it concerning the use of the adjectives ‘Anglophone’, ‘Francophone’ and so on to identify countries outside the ‘mother’ country: By their prefixes, these terms put a premium on the language and the culture of the ‘mother’ country: metropolitan England, France, Spain or Portugal. 90 Yet there are problems with the term ‘post(-)colonial’ also. 91 A number of issues are flagged up, including the danger of postcolonial theory ‘replicating what it purportedly critiques’ and the charge that by maintaining the post-European colonial periodisation, postcolonial studies remain Eurocentric.
La solidarité et l’éthique du groupe entraînent l’uniformisation et le conformisme, freinant l’affirmation du ‘je’ et de la personnalité. C’est l’Autre, l’étranger qui débarquant sur la terre du Maghreb a apporté la fitna, c’est-à-dire l’épreuve troublante et déstabilisante. Il a obligé les sociétés à bouger, à remettre en question l’unanimisme des comportements traditionnels, à sortir du rang et des normes d’hier dans un double mouvement de résistance au colonisateur et d’attirance devant son savoir-faire et sa maîtrise de l’Histoire, du temps et des techniques.
If Augustine’s Confessions offer us a brilliantly successful landmark right at the beginning, one nevertheless recognises immediately that this is a late phenomenon in Western culture, coming at that moment when the Christian contribution was grafted onto classical traditions. Moreover, it would seem that autobiography is not to be found outside our cultural area; one would say that it expresses a concern peculiar to Western man, a concern that has been of good use in his systematic conquest of the universe and that he has communicated to men of other cultures; but those men will thereby have been annexed by a sort of intellectual colonising to a mentality that was not their own […] It is obvious that autobiography is not possible in a cultural landscape where consciousness of self does not, properly speaking, exist […] Autobiography becomes possible only under certain metaphysical preconditions.
Autobiography and independence : selfhood and creativity in North African postcolonial writing in French by Debra Kelly