Algeria Literature 2

Algeria Literature Part II

The central characters of the plots are the young Maghrebi from the poorest suburbs in search of social integration. An example of this is Le Gone de Châaba (1986; The boy from the poor neighborhood), written by Azouz Begag (b.1957). Furthermore, the narrative often arrives, through the reconstruction of “exemplary” stories, to the condemnation of the regimes and of the obscurantist ideas that block the development of the country. Nabile Farès takes sides against the censures of culture (b.1940) especially in the works État perdu (1982; The Lost State) and Exile au féminin (1986; Exile for women). Rachid Mimouni (1945-1995) denounces the evils of Algerian society. Poet and novelist, Tahar Djaout (1954-1993) expresses in his writings the revolt against authoritarianism. We find the theme in the Pérennes collection (1993; Perenni), but the novels represent an even stronger stance, such as L’exproprié (1981; L’ Espropriato), L’invention du désert (1987; The invention of the desert), Les vigiles (1991; I vigili). Committed personally, he launched the Ruptures newspaper. His political ardor cost him his life: Djaout was assassinated in May 1993. On the edge of surrealism is the narrative of Habib Tengour (b. 1947). His collections of poems place him at the crossroads of two cultures, Arab and French, but it is his novels that are best known, such as Le vieux de la montagne (1983; The old man of the mountain), L’épreuve de l ‘ arc (1990, The Test of the Bow). Women’s literary production is flourishing. According to allpubliclibraries, the Algerian writers have in fact established themselves as the spokespersons of the most advanced and independentist demands of their people. They are responsible for particularly innovative works in terms of content (the explicit denunciation of the marginalized condition of the Arab woman and the expression of her real aspirations) and language. We recall female narrators sensitive to social problems and the condition of women such as Djamila Debche, with Leila (1947) and Ariza (1955), or Aïcha Lemsine and, above all, Assia Djebar (b.1936) and Aḥlām Mustaġanmī (b.1953) who, starting from his novels Ḏākirat al-ğasad (1994; The memory of the body) and Fawḍà al-ḥawāss (1998; The confusion of the senses), has conquered a huge audience even beyond the borders of his country. Leïla Sebbar (b.1941), born in Algeria, has lived in France for years and was among the first to give the word to women in Fatima ou les algériennes took an interest in the condition of immigrant women and exile in general. au square (1981; Fatima, or the Algerians in the square), which expresses the concern of immigrant women in the West to testify about their situation. His reflection will come to more pessimistic notes in Le silence des rives (1993; The silence of the banks). Khalida Messaoudi, defying the death threats that weigh on her, denounced, with a strong voice, in Une Algérienne debout (1995; A woman standing) the attacks on Algerian freedom perpetrated not only by Islamic fundamentalists, but by the government itself. Finally, the young Nina Bouraoui (b.1967) should also be mentioned, who in Voyeuse interdite (1991; Vita di sguardi) criticizes traditionalist Algerian society and in Poing mort (1992; Fist dead) demonstrates great narrative strength in dealing with the theme of death. In the last decades of the twentieth century, literary production in Arabic has undergone considerable development, although that in French is still hegemonic. Some Algerian writers, who traditionally wrote in French, have in fact begun to experiment with the Arabic language: among these the novelist Rašid Abū Ğadrah (b.1941) stands out, among the most interesting voices in French-speaking Algerian fiction. Furthermore, although the genres of poetry and short story are the most widespread, the novel genre has also made great strides since ‘Abd al-Ḥamīd Ibn Ḥaddūqa (b.1929) published the first Algerian novel in 1971. in Arabic, Rīḥ al-Ğanūb (South wind). The latter, author of short stories in which he analyzes the social and political mechanisms that have transformed contemporary Algeria up to the latest tragic events, also publishes Nihāyat al-ams (1975; The end of yesterday), Banà al-ṣubḥ (1980; Apparve in the morning) and Gadan yaum ğadīd (1992; Tomorrow is another day). In addition to Ibn Ḥaddūqa and al-Ṭāhir Waṭṭār (b.1936), which includes al-Lāz (1974) and al-Laz, al-‘išq wa’l-mawt fī’l-zamān (1982); al-Lāz, love and death in hard times), other names make their way into the landscape of fiction. Among the most important writers, Wāsīnī al-A’rağ stands out (b. 1954), who stands out for his activity as a writer and literary critic. As far as the genre of the short story is concerned, the most important name is that of Ğilālī Ḥallāṣ (b. 1952), author of essays, novels, children’s books and translator of works by Italian writers into Arabic. Internationally known are the writers R. Boudjedra (b.1941), M. Moulessehoul (b.1955), better known under the pseudonym of Yasmina Khadra, with her novel The Attentarice (2006), and the young Salim Bachi (b. 1971), known for The silence of Mohammed (2009).

Algeria Literature 2