Nee a Tunis, Virgule Tunise: Avenue de France de Collette Fellous

Carpenter-Latiri, Dora (2006) Nee a Tunis, Virgule Tunise: Avenue de France de Collette Fellous Expressions maghrebines.

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Abstract

Although Fellous is an award-winning mainstream writer, no academic research devoted to her work had been undertaken prior to Carpenter-Latiri’s article in Expressions maghrébines, the foremost journal of North African literary studies published through the Coordination Internationale des Chercheurs sur les Littératures Maghrébines (CICLIM). This article was selected for a special issue on Tunisia. In approaching Fellous’s work, Carpenter-Latiri benefited from having a shared experience of the newly independent Tunisia of her youth and the opportunity to interview her personally. Consequently, the article focuses on her own exploration of the complexities of her identity. Carpenter-Latiri’s study follows Fellous’s travels back and forth from the centre to the periphery, her itinerary between many opposites in her life and the literary transposition in the form of the novel. Analysis is made of the ways in which Fellous’s writing travels in time and space, using her own life and history to tie together a Tunisian and a Parisian present and the ambiguities this involves: a life in the metropolitan and cosmopolitan centre where she is integrated, whose language she speaks and whose culture she has assimilated; and the movement back to the circumference where she once belonged and whose language and culture is for her an abandoned and grieved-for heritage. Carpenter-Latiri also considered the other dimensions of her identity, the Jewish French-speaker in an Arab country, the feminist in a macho environment - the daughter, her mother’s daughter and her daughter’s mother. Also interrogated in this study is the significance of Fellous’s multimedia writing, integrating photography, cinema, music and art to amplify her own literary technique. Finally, Fellous is situated in respect to Albert Memmi, the great figure of Tunisian literature in French and postcolonial theory, in terms of continuity, yet also divergent as a piece of postmodern post-postcolonial writing. English abstract: While Fellous is now an award-winning mainstream writer, no academic research had been carried out on her work before 2006.This article is written from first-hand experience of the newly independent Tunisia, an experience also shared by Fellous in her youth, and enhanced by an interview with Fellous herself. The article focuses on an exploration of Fellous’s identity, following her travels to and from the periphery, an itinerary between many opposites in her life set alongside literary transposition in the form of a novel. Analysis is made of the ways in which her writing itself travels through time and space through the use of autobiographical devices that tie together a past in Tunisia and a present in Paris. This involves a number of ambiguities: life in the metropolitan and cosmopolitan centre in which she is integrated, whose language she speaks and whose culture she has assimilated, and the movement back to the periphery where she once belonged and whose language is for her an abandoned and grieved-for heritage. Other aspects of identity are also considered: the Jewish French-speaker in an Arab country; the feminist in a macho environment; the daughter; her mother’s daughter and her own daughter’s mother. Additionally, attention is paid to the significance of Fellous’s multimedia writing, integrating photography, cinema, music and art to enhance her own literary technique. In conclusion, Fellous is situated in relation to Albert Memmi, a major figure of Tunisian literature in French and postcolonial theory in terms of continuity, yet at also divergent in postmodern and post-colonial writing.

Item Type:Other form of assessable output
Uncontrolled Keywords:Tunisia; Fellous
Subjects:Q000 Languages and Literature - Linguistics and related subjects
Faculties:Faculty of Arts > School of Humanities
ID Code:6571
Deposited By:Faculty of Arts editor
Deposited On:26 Nov 2009
Last Modified:12 Jun 2012 11:28

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