Algerie: guerres, designat

Carpenter-Latiri, Dora (2004) Algerie: guerres, designat CELAAN Review (Centre d’études des littératures et des arts d’Afrique du Nord), New York, USA.

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Abstract

This article explored a specific link between the two great conflicts in Algeria, the War of Independence and the 'second war' of the 1980s/1990s: how language was used to reflect the spiral of destruction and exclusion of 'the other'. The French Review, the largest circulating scholarly journal of French studies in the world, referred to it as: 'l’excellent dernier article de Latiri ... introduit brillamment à la complexité de l’histoire de l’Algérie' (80:4, 901). Carpenter-Latiri investigated literary and para-literary texts taking the two wars as their subject, using tools of linguistic analysis to reveal the semantic processes at work when discussing those perceived as adversaries. Using her lexicographic experience to collect and analyse terms used for the communities involved in the War of Independence, she assembled a unique paradigm of these terms: most were used to show distance, if not actual disparagement or hatred of 'the other'. Carpenter-Latiri also demonstrated analogies with the use of language in the second war, with Algerians manipulating language to denigrate minority communities such as divorced women and the young unemployed. Likewise, euphemisms of the first war used to refer to torture techniques are paralleled in Arabic with the brutalities of the new military order. Parallels in the political dimension were also addressed, comparing the French amnesty for crimes in the first war (1964/66) with the 'law of clemency' for Islamist guerrillas in Algeria in 1995. She also advanced a metaphorical reading of a key passage in Camus’s L’Etranger, where the protagonist explains he committed murder 'because of the sun', as emblematic of the blind submission to malign authority in the two wars. Such research, addressed from different perspectives, complements the work of other Brighton researchers, such as those concerned with identity and conflict in Ireland and national identities in the face of global pressures. English abstract: Focus is centred on the two great conflicts in Algeria, the War of Independence and the 'second war' of the 1980s and the 1990s, and the way in which language was used to reflect the spiral of destruction and exclusion of the ‘other’. Literary and para-literary texts that take the two wars as their subject are utilised alongside tools of linguistic analysis to reveal the semantic processes of work when discussing those perceived as adversaries. Lexicographical experience is deployed to collect and analyse terms used for communities in the War of Independence, resulting in the gathering of a unique paradigm of these terms, a number of which are not included in dictionaries. Most of them are used to show distance, if not disparagement or hatred of the ‘other’. Subsequently, analogies are made in which Algerians manipulate language to denigrate minority communities such as divorced women and the young unemployed. Similarly, euphemisms of the first war used to refer to torture techniques are paralleled with Arabic for the brutalities of the new military order. Parallels in the political dimension are also addressed, comparing the French amnesty for crimes in the first war (1964-66) with the ‘law of clemency’ in Algeria in 1996 for Islamist guerrillas. Also advanced is a metaphorical reading of a key passage in Camus’s L’Étranger, where the protagonist explains that he committed murder 'because of the sun', as emblematic of the malign authority in the two wars.

Item Type:Other form of assessable output
Uncontrolled Keywords:Lexicography; War of Independence; Minority
Subjects:Q000 Languages and Literature - Linguistics and related subjects
Faculties:Faculty of Arts > School of Humanities
ID Code:6570
Deposited By:Faculty of Arts editor
Deposited On:26 Nov 2009
Last Modified:11 Jun 2012 16:08

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