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Reimagining North African immigrationIdentities in flux in French literature, television and film$
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Patrick Saveau and Veronique Machelidon

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780719099489

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719099489.001.0001

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Narrativizing foreclosed history in ‘postmemorial’ fiction of the Algerian War in France: October 17, 1961, a case in point

Narrativizing foreclosed history in ‘postmemorial’ fiction of the Algerian War in France: October 17, 1961, a case in point

Chapter:
(p.134) 8 Narrativizing foreclosed history in ‘postmemorial’ fiction of the Algerian War in France: October 17, 1961, a case in point
Source:
Reimagining North African immigration
Author(s):

Michel Laronde

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719099489.003.0009

This chapter presents the resistance against the erasure of institutional violence from collective history during the Algerian War in France with the example of the 17 October 1961 massacre of North Africans in Paris. The political foreclosure of the event resulting in a collective trauma tied to the war resurfaces in beur literature and mainstream French fiction from the 1980s onward as memorial fragments naturalized in the novels. The traces of the October 17 event narrativized in postcolonial writing signal a postmemorial mentality where the past bears on the present of the nation’s postcolonial process of correcting the distortions of silenced history. The next section of the chapter briefly outlines ways to generate the reparative potential of postmemorial writing reflected in the ekphrases of the event present in more than twenty novels. The last section explains how this situation of repressed memory spanning more than one generation and repeated in literature resonates with Marianne Hirsch’s concept of postmemory, as a call to revisit the official history of the traumas of the Algerian War in an unending process of healing and repair of the colonial past. .

Keywords:   Algerian War in France, 17 October 1961, Postcolonial fiction, Postmemory, Naturalization, Historicizing

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