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In the Name of the Father: In the Voice of the Other
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Romance Studies and Classics.
2014 (English)In: A Practical Guide to French Harki Literature / [ed] Keith Moser, Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books, 2014, 1, 145-167 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The literature of the harki daughters Dalila Kerchouche, Zahia Rahmani and Hadjila Kemoum have a common trait in the fact that their novels and biographical stories speak for someone who could not, or would not, do it himself. It is a literature that claims the rehabilitation of their humiliated fathers and families. In novels like Moze (Rahmani), Mohand le harki (Kemoum) and Leïla, Avoir dix-sept ans dans un camp de harkis (Kerchouche), as well as in the témoignage, as it is branded, Mon père, ce harki by Kerchouche, the French Republic is, symbolically, put on trial for its betrayal of its former soldiers. But what is at stake is not only the betrayal of the fathers, but also the prolonging of the colonial structures in which these are caught. Through a progressive semantic displacement, the term harki has, over time, come to signify an identity transmissible from one generation to another.

The chapter propose an analysis of the literary means put in place in the aforementioned novels to produce the image of a case against the French Republic, with emphasis on the proliferation of voices that speak not only for but also through the victims of French Harki policies and the literary manifestations of the fact that the writers, although considered as ”harkis” by transference and loyalty to their fathers, take on the authority and the voice of the Other, through a genuinely French discourse, based on republican principles and universal human rights. The question is, how are the same principles that supported the official stigmatizing of the harkis as pariah, being used to support a discourse to rehabilitate them?

References mentioned above :

Kemoum, Hadjila (2003) Mohand le harki, Paris : Anne Carrière

Kerchouche, Dalila (2003) Mon père, ce harki, Paris : Seuil

Kerchouche, Dalila (2006) Leïla, Avoir dix-sept ans dans un camp de harkis, Paris : Seuil

Rahmani, Zahia (2003) Moze, Paris : Sabine Wespieser éditeur

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books, 2014, 1. 145-167 p.
Keyword [en]
Algerian War, Harki, Contemporary French Novel, Breaking the Silence, Collective Memory, Narrative Strategies, Polyphony
Keyword [fr]
La Guerre d’Algérie, Harkis, littérature française contemporaine, silence, mémoire refoulée, stratégies narratives, polyphonie
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
Literature; French
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-112198ISBN: 978-0-7391-9009-8OAI: diva2:778403
Available from: 2015-01-09 Created: 2015-01-09 Last updated: 2015-12-02Bibliographically approved

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Olsson, Kenneth
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