An Algerian paradox? The emulation of colonial visions through self-Orientalism in postcolonial literature

Lamrani, Sonia (2023). An Algerian paradox? The emulation of colonial visions through self-Orientalism in postcolonial literature. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis analyses self-Orientalist representations in the Algerian postcolonial novel produced in both Arabic and French, using postcolonial literary criticism, and the historical contextualisation of the novels to reveal how colonial tropes have survived in late colonial and post-independence Algerian literary productions. I argue in this thesis that the encounter between the Orientalist and the colonial legacies and the postcolonial literary thrust, together with the influence of the historical and the political interplay between Western-inspired value systems and indigenous contexts, triggered the re-creation of the clichéd representations that dominated the colonial and the Orientalist discourses about Algeria. As a result, self-depiction in Algerian postcolonial literature reveals regular occurrences that display the features of self-Orientalist perspectives. The internalisation of biased representations of Algeria in Algerian literary output is vividly illustrated in many themes which are covered in this thesis through three main parts: the representation of people and places, beliefs and customs, topics related to politics and linguistic identity. Through these three parts, this project establishes different nuances in the perpetuation of the stereotypical renderings of Algeria, varying from fully-fledged, through ambivalent and reluctant self-Orientalist stances, which are continuously influenced by the historical and political circumstances inherited from the colonial era, and subsequent events such as the Black Decade and the process of Arabisation, among others. The analysis of the self-Orientalist discourse in Algerian postcolonial literature showcases the everlasting influence of the colonial legacy on Algerian literary self-representations and highlights the importance of the Algerian case in the academic debate about Orientalism and self-Orientalism.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music, Department of Modern Languages
Funders: Other
Other Funders: Algerian Ministry of Higher Education
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PI Oriental languages and literatures
P Language and Literature > PL Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0441 Literary History


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