By Lia Nicole Brozgal
The paintings of Tunisian Jewish highbrow Albert Memmi, like that of many francophone Maghrebian writers, is frequently learn as thinly veiled autobiography. wondering the present physique of feedback, which keeps this interpretation of so much fiction produced by way of francophone North African writers, Lia Nicole Brozgal exhibits how such interpretations of Memmi’s texts imprecise their now not inconsiderable theoretical possibilities.
Calling recognition to the ambiguous prestige of autobiographical discursive and textual components in Memmi’s paintings, Brozgal shifts the focal point from the writer to theoretical questions. opposed to Autobiography areas Memmi’s writing and suggestion in discussion with a number of significant severe shifts within the overdue twentieth-century literary and cultural panorama. those shifts comprise the obstacle of the authorial topic; the interrogation of the shape of the radical; the resistance to the hegemony of imaginative and prescient; and the critique of colonialism. exhibiting how Memmi’s novels and essays produce theories that resonate either inside and past their unique contexts, Brozgal argues for permitting works of francophone Maghrebi literature to be learn as advanced literary items, that's, no longer easily as ethnographic curios yet as producing components of literary concept on their lonesome phrases.
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Additional info for Against Autobiography: Albert Memmi and the Production of Theory
In the particular case of Memmi, any authorial status attributed to him would be at once ambiguous and ambivalent: he takes part in both “our society”—insofar as European colonization brought him the language of Molière and an 22 Of Authors and Archives imported literary canon to go with it—and in his culture of origin. At the same time, while belonging to both, he can never fully be either. Certainly this suggests an impasse that is reminiscent both of Memmi’s position in The Colonizer and the Colonized and the organizing logic of his anthologies of the 1960s, as well as of his skepticism regarding the ability of the writer of hybrid identity to overcome his divided self.
For it cannot be determined from Barthes’s essay whether or not Memmi, hailing as he does from an “ethnographic” society, would be considered an author at all. In the particular case of Memmi, any authorial status attributed to him would be at once ambiguous and ambivalent: he takes part in both “our society”—insofar as European colonization brought him the language of Molière and an 22 Of Authors and Archives imported literary canon to go with it—and in his culture of origin. At the same time, while belonging to both, he can never fully be either.
Miller have read the end of the author as a critical position anathema to the emergence of the feminine subject as author, and therefore to be rejected, others such as Toril Moi have interpreted the demise of the author as a positive critical maneuver. 75 In “Changing the Subject,” Miller argues that reading women’s writing in light of the death of the author is a dangerous, perhaps even impossible, interpretative gesture: “The post-modern decision that the Author is Dead and the subject along with him does not, I will argue, necessarily hold for women and prematurely forecloses the question of agency for them.