2009 Student Research Conference:
22nd Annual Student Research Conference

"Autobiography in the Enemy's Language": An Examination of Assia Djebar’s Use of French in Fantasia: An Algerian Cavalcade
Ava K. Cichock
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

In Fantasia: An Algerian Cavalcade, an autobiographical and historical novel, Assia Djebar describes the physical act of writing in French as cramped in contrast with the sensual act of writing in Arabic. Drawing on historical accounts, the book juxtaposes the events of the 1830 War of Colonization with the 1954-1962 War of Independence. This paper will examine the ways in which Assia Djebar emphasizes how her use of French makes her painfully aware of her country's colonial past, at the same time that it forms an essential part of her identity. Central to my analysis will be how Djebar's use of the French Language serves a dual purpose, in that it allows her to both appreciate her native Arabic and to rebel against the French colonization of Algeria through writing her own story in the enemy's language whereby she colonizes the language of the colonizers.

Keywords: French, Arabic , Colonization , Algeria, Assia Djebar

Topic(s):English

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 37-3
Location: OP 2121
Time: 1:45

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