History's Place: Nostalgia and the City in French Algerian Literature

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Lexington Books, Jan 1, 2007 - Literary Criticism - 346 pages
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History's Place explores nostalgia as one of the defining aspects of the relationship between France and North Africa. Dr. Seth Graebner argues that France's most important colony developed a historical consciousness through literature, and that post-colonial writers revised it while retaining its dominant effect. The North African city became a privileged place in the relationship between literacy and historical discourses in the colony. Graebner analyzes the importance of architecture and urbanism as markers of historical development, as the urban fabric and descriptions of it became signs of difference between metropole and colony. Discussing writers as diverse as Bertrand, Randau, and Kateb, this book examines how the changing Algerian city has remained the locus of a debate colored by various sorts of nostalgia. Graebner demonstrates that nostalgia was symptomatic of historical anxiety generated by colonial conditions, but with literary consequences for mainland France as well. History's Place is a comprehensive and valuable addition to the study of French literature and cultural studies.

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Contents

Louis Bertrand and the Building of IAfrique Mine
27
Robert Randau and the Algerianistes Algeria
71
Anthropological Fiction
107
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Seth Graebner is Assistant Professor of French and of International and Area Studies at Washington University in Saint Louis.

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