By Réda Bensmaïa
Jean-Paul Sartre's recognized query, "For whom will we write?" moves with reference to domestic for francophone writers from the Maghreb. Do those writers handle their compatriots, lots of whom are illiterate or learn no French, or a broader viewers past Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia? In Experimental Nations, Réda Bensmaïa argues powerfully opposed to the tendency to view their works now not as literary creations worthy contemplating for his or her leading edge sort or language yet as "ethnographic" texts and to appraise them in basic terms opposed to the "French literary canon." He casts clean mild at the unique literary techniques many such writers have deployed to reappropriate their cultural historical past and "reconfigure" their international locations within the many years given that colonialism.
Tracing the circulate from the anticolonial, nationalist, and arabist literature of the early years to the relative cosmopolitanism and variety of Maghrebi francophone literature at the present time, Bensmaïa attracts on modern literary and postcolonial concept to "deterritorialize" its examine. no matter if in Assia Djebar's novels and movies, Abdelkebir Khatabi's prose poems or serious essays, or the novels of Nabile Farès, Abdelwahab Meddeb, or Mouloud Feraoun, he increases the veil that hides the intrinsic richness of those artists' works from the eyes of even an attentive viewers. Bensmaïa indicates us how such Maghrebi writers have opened their countries as territories to rediscover and stake out, to invent, whereas making a new language. In providing this masterful account of "virtual" yet veritable countries, he units forth a brand new and fertile topography for francophone literature.