A Stepmother Tongue: “Feminine Writing” in Assia. Djebar’s Fantasia: An Algerian Cavalcade. By SOHEILA GHAUSSY. In Fantasia: An Algeri- an Cavalcade. an Algerian Feminist novel about the condition of the Algerian women under the french colonization. Assia Djebar intertwines in this novel the history of her. Assia Djebar’s book is a kind of a mutt. It’s part novel, part autobiography, and part history. In this section, the narrator’s describing the first battles in the French .

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The words and images struck me with force; each scene felt vivid and immediate. An intensely affective read. My attempts to be more worldly with my reading sometimes lead to great discoveries, and sometimes they lead me here. Assia Djebar is not easy to read in English translation much less in her original French. But she also wants you to learn about Algerian history, about life as an Arab woman and about the torturous process of forging an identity in the liminal space between a conquering and a conquered nation.

Memory purges and purifies the sounds of childhood; we are cocooned by childhood until the discovery of sensuality, which washes over us and gradually bedazzles us…. Do I even understand it?

Fantasia: An Algerian Cavalcade by Assia Djebar

The OAS campaign of violence dnebar a last desperate attempt to forestall what the majority in France now desired. Before the nineteenth-century French invasion, the Turks of the Ottoman Empire ruled Algeria indirectly through indigenous leaders and urban aristocratic families.

InDjebar won the prestigious Neustadt International Prize for Literature for her contribution to world literature. The novel interweaves three narratives: I was considerably less interested in her autobiographical chapters, in the precocious observations of the privileged axsia child who escapes the veil through reading and scholarship. The freedom offered by untouchability.

Djebar, Assia

Although the dey of Algiers surrendered, resistance against the French continued from through Although only 60 percent of the French population went to the polls, 75 percent cast affirmative votes Ruedy, p.

The author gives us snippets from her childhood in Algeria, and the perception of women. Djebar and Ngugi would say yes, as would the many postcolonial literary movement to that advocated a return to writing in the Native tongue. I know that every language is a dark depository for piled-up corpses, refuse, sewage, but faced with the language of the former conqueror, which offers me its ornaments, its jewels, its flowers, I find they are flowers of death The novel becomes a collection of beautiful fragments, leaving the reader to imagine what it could be if it were all joined somehow.


Somehow Djebar manages to do the impossible: While the man still has the right to four legitimate wives, we girls, big and little, have at our command four languages to express desire before all that is left for us is sighs and moans: But it made me very interested in the country.

The population, however, was widely dispersed, and antagonisms and suspicions proliferated among various factions, which made the resistance less than unified. The couple continued to roam the streets, chatting together, momentarily free of the others and the ‘Revolution’; nevertheless, even if their embraces in a doorway could not claim that they were making history, still their happiness was part of the collective fever, and they were always on the look-out to see if they were being shadowed and to throw the police off their trail.

Thanks for telling us about the problem. Djebar mixes her own autobiography with historical sources from the 19th century and discussions with women who remember the struggle for independence, and what came before and after it.

A group called the Young Algerians emerged at the turn of the century, forming cultural clubs and founding newspapers. Walking for walking’s sake, to try to understand Considering the French invasion of and the twentieth century Qssia of Algerian Independence, as well as adding pieces of her own autobiography, Djebar complicates the notion of linear history, presenting an alternative view of the interdependence of the personal and the national, the past, the present and the future.

The Cry in the Dreams. These pages give a historical account of the fall of Algiers as witnessed by a Turkish religious figure, Hajj Ahmed Effendi. I admire the scale and aims of this project. On July 5,arduous years after the French first captured Algiers from the Turkish dey, Algeria gained its independence from France.


Overall Djebar reaches us, but the novel has an abstract quality that does not emotionally involve us much with any characters.

Assia Djebar – Wikipedia

The novelist recalls weddings she attended as a child, at which Algerian women would talk about their lives but never expose their inner hurt directly. The Doodle reached all the countries of the Arab World.

The immediacy given by the feeling that the story is being told about oneself gathers the reader up into the full storm of emotion in the Algerian plight.

How could a woman speak aloud, even in Arabic, unless on the threshold of extreme age? In time Abbas would shift from advocating full integration of Algeria into France to promoting a Muslim Algeria in close cooperation with France. asaia

About 2, Algerian women joined the maquisthe armed national resistance. Djebar is a descendant of the Beni Menacer ethnic group.

Fantasia: An Algerian Cavalcade

In Fantasia Djebar reestablishes bonds with the maternal world she left behind. Discusses the strength and importance of the role of women in this time of revolution and dejbar. French for secret missives; Arabic for our stifled aspirations towards God-the-Father, the God of the religions of the Book; Lybico-Berber which takes us back to the pagan idols–mother gods–of pre-Islamic Mecca.

Once I had discovered the meaning of the words—those same words that are revealed to the unveiled body—I cut myself adrift.

Indiana University Press, Then love came to be transformed in the tunnel of pleasure, soft clay to be moulded by matrimony. Orientalism aside, the fantazia on the front djsbar it a “mosaic” isn’t far off. Retrieved from ” https: In France, people began to question this protracted war waged at the expense of so many young French lives and reacted with outrage to reports that the French military were torturing Algerian civilians. However, as I read the translation Fantasia: University of Minnesota Press,