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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Fantasia: An Algerian Cavalcade
An Algerian Cavalcade by Assia Djebar. In this stunning novel, Assia Djebar intertwines the history of her native Algeria with episodes from the life of a young girl in a story stretching from the French conquest in to the War of Liberation of fantasis s.
The girl, growing up in the old Roman coastal town of Cherchel, sees her life in contrast to that of a neighboring French family, and yearns for more than In this stunning novel, Assia Djebar intertwines the history of her native Algeria with episodes from the life of a young girl in a story stretching from the French conquest in to the War of Liberation of the s. The girl, growing up in the old Roman coastal town of Cherchel, sees her life in contrast to that of a neighboring French family, and yearns for more than law and tradition allow her to experience.
Headstrong and passionate, she escapes from the cloistered life of her family to join her brother in the maquis’ fight against French domination. Djebar’s exceptional descriptive powers bring to life the experiences of girls and women caught up in the dual struggle for independence–both their own aszia Algeria’s.
Hardcoverpages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Fantasa ask other readers questions about Fantasiaplease sign up. What is the first chapter about? See 2 questions about Fantasia…. Lists with This Book. Feb 20, Hadrian rated it liked it Shelves: Fantasia is a book in two parts, which alternate before one narrative takes over.
The first is a retelling of the French conquest of Algeria and the following insurgency in the early 19th century. The second is an autobiographical version of the author’s life a century later, as she grows as a person and sheds the roles which are forced fantwsia her from both colonizer and colonized. Without context, it’s easy to assume a novel in French about Algeria or Morocco titled Fantasia would be some uncomfo Fantasia is a book in two parts, which alternate before one narrative takes over.
Without context, it’s easy to assume a novel in French about Algeria or Morocco titled Fantasia would be some uncomfortable fetishism. Thankfully there’s none of that, at least on the part of the author. This is a project about reclaiming history, from the omissions of the archives and her own veiled position. Djebar reclaims history and her own thoughts, but also holds a wake for the dead fanttasia those else who were silenced.
I admire the scale and aims of this project. But, I have reservations on Djerba’s style. It is so much a product of the interaction between French and Algerian Arabic that it might not have survived translation. The language is repetitive, and even cliched at points. Still, I admire the goals and thoughts of this book enough that I will likely look into Djebar’s work further. Aug 15, Nathaniel rated it liked it. Assia Djebar wants you to write a term paper about her book. She wants you to deploy trendy crit theory terminology to unpack asia overtly symbolic and extremely self-aware meta-narrative of historical readings, elided autobiography and tiresome, italicized hinge pieces.
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. Unfortunately, she has l Assia Djebar wants you to write a term paper about her book. When Djebar gives voice to the Algerian women who aided the native resistance or when she frames the observations of victorious Frenchmen, she shares memorable and moving stories.
Some of these retellings are gripping and devastating because when Djebar restrains her anger and allows history to speak for itself, the book sails. I was considerably less fantqsia in her autobiographical chapters, in the precocious observations of the privileged young child who escapes the veil through reading and scholarship. Rejecting all lyricism, turning my back on high-flown language; every metaphor seems a wretched ruse, an approximation and a weakness.
The flesh flakes off and with it, seemingly, the last shreds of the unwritten language of my childhood. Assia Djebar is born. An Algerian Cavalcade is written. It’s hard to call this a novel. I’d call it an essay, except at pages that’s stretching it. Orientalism aside, the quote on the front calling it a “mosaic” isn’t far off. 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 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.
Captured by the French, she sneers “What are you going to do, execute a girl? Throw me in jail if you want, you won’t be here long enough to keep me in it.
The central and somewhat belaboured metaphor here is the veil: The one drawn over the victims of colonialisation by letting the colonialists write history. The one drawn by language, by the palimpsest of history Algiers has Roman ruins, Christian saints, Turkish beys The things that are hidden by being made conspicuous, and vice versa.
The freedom offered by untouchability. 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: French fabtasia 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.
The fourth language, for all females, young asisa old, cloistered or half-emancipated, remains that of the body: People are buried, not just in the ground martyrs, victims, traitors, invaders but in the language as well; some openly, with huge monuments, others quietly, so as to pretend they never existed. Or at least never needed a monument.
Djebar writes of Algeria in French, the country assja enslaved her people, the language that let her mother treat her father as an equal, the language that isolated her from the women of her own family. Exposing myself by writing my autobiograpy in the language of the former enemy puts me at constant risk of burning myself up.
It’s notable that even The Ffantasia of Algiers aassia men at the centre of everything. Meanwhile, European politicians want to solve a problem simply by banning a piece of cloth. And so layers keep being added, sjebar all a writer can do is point them out.
An Algerian Cavalcade is not a novel, or a memoir or an oral history, though it shares characteristics with all three genres. It’s a piece of literature that defies easy categorization.
It is, perhaps, best described as a meditation on history Algeria’s in this casealienation and women based on sources from both the French and native sides of Algeria’s recent, tragic history, including the author’s own experiences she fought in the last rebellion that ended in Algeria’s independen Fantasia: It is, perhaps, best described as a meditation on history Algeria’s in this casealienation and women based on sources from both the French and native sides of Algeria’s recent, tragic history, including the author’s own experiences she fought in the last rebellion that ended in Algeria’s independence.
There are passages that are intensely interesting and even moving; the reader gets swept up in Djebar’s world but then she drops into an off-putting, deconstructionalist voice that threw me entirely out of the book. I would have enjoyed it more had she not found it necessary to pull back from the immediacy of the narrative to beat me over the head with its meaning. Djebar should have had more confidence in her audience, or put the metafictional part of her musings in a separate context.
I’m on the fence still with Assia Djebar. I’m impressed enough and respectful enough of her writing to be interested in reading further but I’m reserving a final opinion. View all 4 comments. May 28, Beth rated it really liked it Shelves: This is a book about giving a voice to those who are silent.
And to those who have been silenced.
Most of the voices heard in this book are those of Algerian women. The author herself, older war widows, young brides, outspoken women held This is a book about giving a voice to those who are silent.
Assia Djebar – Wikipedia
The author herself, older war widows, young brides, outspoken women held in French prisons, silent watchers hidden behind their veils. As I was reading the book, I found it to be quite frustrating. In each chapter, it required effort to discover the identity of the narrator. This made for a very frustrating read at times, but in the end the pieces all came together like a mosaic, all the more beautiful and intriguing for the confusion and diversity of its materials.
Ultimately I was left with the impression that it was less important for me djeebar know the identity of each speaker than to know that their combined voices made up the pulse of their struggling nation — a heartbeat of shared experiences during a time of war and suffering.
Fantasia: An Algerian Cavalcade |
The words and images struck me with force; each scene felt vivid and immediate. I was struck by the recurrence of the image of the veil: Among the many stories, each told in its own unique voice, there is one chapter that brings an intimacy between the reader and the text that is almost hard to bear. It is written in the second person in French the even more intimate tu formand tells the story of a pregnant Algerian hostage on a French ship.
She gives birth to a stillborn son and we feel her desperation as she senses that she no longer has a land in which to bury him. 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.
My Body, my Land Why am I reviewing this? Do I even understand it? No, not entirely, but I understand enough to know that it is a remarkable work, part philosophy, part personal statement, part a history of Algeria under French rule. Its very language a paradox: And reading it in French as I did, I got an extraordinary sense of Djebar’s writing, sonorous, richly colored, syntactically free, juggling unfamiliar terms and proper names.