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Women Writing War

The Life-writing of the Algerian «moudjahidate»

by Caroline E. Kelley (Author)
Monographs XIV, 174 Pages

Table Of Content

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • Acknowledgements
  • List of Abbreviations
  • A Note on Translations and Transliteration
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1 Contexts
  • Chapter 2 Re-membering War: Memoir and Testimonial by Jacqueline Guerroudj and Louisette Ighilahriz
  • Chapter 3 Poetry and Intertextuality: Anna Gréki’s and Zhor Zerari’s Autobiographical Poems
  • Chapter 4 Toward a Minor Theatre: Myriam Ben’s Algerian Antigone
  • Conclusions
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • Series index

Women Writing War

The Life-writing of
the Algerian moudjahidate

Caroline E. Kelley

About the author

Caroline E. Kelley holds a D.Phil. from the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages at the University of Oxford. She is an independent scholar and a lecturer at the Institut Catholique de Paris (Faculté des Lettres) Paris, France.

About the book

Women Writing War focuses on the life-writing of the moudjahidate, the women veterans of the Algerian war of independence (1954–1962). The author offers close readings of memoir, testimonial, poetry and drama by Jacqueline Guerroudj, Louisette Ighilahriz, Anna Gréki, Zhor Zerari and Myriam Ben, all of whom are documented moudjahidate and self-identify as Algerian. Reading their life-writing through the prism of theories of intertextuality, ‘minor’ literature and the dialectics of memory and trauma, the author explores the relationship between writing, resistance and political action. Since they compose their work in the first-person voice in the context of the Algerian war, this book argues that their writing operates collectively as a form of counterdiscourse, opening up a textual space where experiences that were previously silenced or marginalized might be expressed.

This eBook can be cited

This edition of the eBook can be cited. To enable this we have marked the start and end of a page. In cases where a word straddles a page break, the marker is placed inside the word at exactly the same position as in the physical book. This means that occasionally a word might be bifurcated by this marker.

Acknowledgements

This book is the culmination of years of research and writing. It has accompanied me from its beginnings as a doctoral thesis at the University of Oxford to Yale University and the University of California, Los Angeles, to the HUMlab in Umeå, Sweden, and the Simone de Beauvoir Institute in Montreal, Quebec, and, finally, to the Université Paris Ouest Nanterre la Défense and the Institut Catholique in Paris, France. A study of the life-writing of the Algerian moudjahidate, the women veterans of the war of independence (1954–1962), it also represents a significant part of my own life. Along the way, I have been fortunate to meet a number of people who have contributed to, nurtured and helped me to realize this project.

I must express my gratitude, first of all, to Gill Rye at the Centre for Contemporary Women’s Writing, University of London, and the editor of Studies in Contemporary Women’s Writing (Peter Lang, Oxford), for including my book in this series, as well as for the opportunity to organize the symposium, ‘War Stories: Reading the Postcolonial Text’, which took place on 1 May 2013 at the Senate House, University of London. I want to extend a heart-felt thanks to Laurel Plapp, Senior Commissioning Editor at Peter Lang, for her patience, encouragement and support. The careful feedback of the anonymous readers at Peter Lang has also been of great value and is much-appreciated, as well as the meticulous copy-editing work of Michael Garvey.

The publication of this book was made possible in part by the generous support of Adrian Piper and the Adrian Piper Research Archive Foundation (APRAF) in Berlin, which awarded me a multi-disciplinary fellowship in 2013. I am deeply grateful to Adrian for seeing the merit in this scholarship and supporting the final stages of its writing process.

I owe a special debt to my doctoral supervisors at Oxford University, Cathie Lloyd and the late Elizabeth Fallaize, for their support of this project through untold close readings, constructive criticism and research and methodological guidance, as well as my thesis examiners Jane Hiddleston and Margaret Majumdar, for overseeing the oral defence and for serving as←vii | viii→ intellectual inspiration for my research. Likewise, Michael Willis and Toby Garfitt provided useful advice at the confirmation of status defence.

I am grateful to Bachir Adjil of the Université de Paris VIII and Kamal Salhi of the University of Leeds for their suggestions on early drafts of Chapter 3. Dora Carpenter-Latiri cast a careful eye over abbreviated versions of Chapter 2, which appeared in CELAAN Review, Volume 3, Numbers 1–2. Finally, the editors at 452°F: A Journal of Literary Theory & Comparative Literature offered helpful feedback and published a version of what is now Chapter 4 in issue 5 of their journal.

Summary

Women Writing War focuses on the life-writing of the moudjahidate, the women veterans of the Algerian war of independence (1954–1962). The author offers close readings of memoir, testimonial, poetry and drama by Jacqueline Guerroudj, Louisette Ighilahriz, Anna Gréki, Zhor Zerari and Myriam Ben, all of whom are documented moudjahidate and self-identify as Algerian. Reading their life-writing through the prism of theories of intertextuality, ‘minor’ literature and the dialectics of memory and trauma, the author explores the relationship between writing, resistance and political action. Since they compose their work in the first-person voice in the context of the Algerian war, this book argues that their writing operates collectively as a form of counterdiscourse, opening up a textual space where experiences that were previously silenced or marginalized might be expressed.

Biographical notes

Caroline E. Kelley (Author)

Caroline E. Kelley holds a D.Phil. from the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages at the University of Oxford. She is an independent scholar and a lecturer at the Institut Catholique de Paris (Faculté des Lettres) Paris, France.

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