Femmes aux frontières de l'interdit. Étude des premiers romans d'Assia Djebar (1957-1968)
AbstractTitle: Femmes aux frontières de l interdit. Étude des premiers romans d Assia Djebar (1957-1968)English title: Women on the Frontier of the Forbidden: A Study of Assia Djebar s Early Novels (1957-1968) Author: Zahia BouaissiLanguage: FrenchUniversity/Department/Year: Göteborg University (Sweden)/Department of Romance Languages: French and Italian Section/2008The present doctoral dissertation is a sociocritical study that aims at uncovering the presence of the dominant ideology in the literary works of Assia Djebar, an Algerian woman author writing in French. The purpose of this study is to show that although Djebar obviously wishes to expose the condition of women in the Algerian society, she in fact reproduces, at least in the novels under discussion, the same patriarchal discourse that she appears to criticize. This study will focus on the first four novels published by Assia Djebar: La Soif [The Mischief] (1957), Les Impatients (1958), Les Enfants du Nouveau Monde [Children of the New World] (1962) and Les Alouettes Naïves (1968).Although they were all published in France (Julliard Publishing House), these early Djebarien novels were written in Algeria where the dominant ideological discourse pervaded the whole of society. This discourse upheld the traditional values that were threatened by the new values introduced through the French occupation of the country. To many literary critics, Assia Djebar speaks for the women oppressed by old traditions that reinforce male domination while reducing women to silence. The central themes of the novels studied include women, their right to speak and to discover their bodies and sexualities, as well as their quest for more dialogue with their husbands and for freedom of movement. A careful analysis of Djebar s portrayal of female characters together with that of the different discourses that compose the dominant ideology and define the place of women in Algerian society show, however, that Djebar s early novelistic production is conditioned and overdetermined by that same ideology.The examination of the social imprint, of the social unconscious, requires the consideration of two elements: the text itself and its social context. The textual analysis will focus on a semiological study of the characters of the novels as the privileged locus of the manifestation of ideology (chap. 4). This analysis reveals an ideal Djebarien female character through contrasting it with its negative counterpart, the anomic character. An assessment/investigation of the reading strategies privileged in the novels (chap. 5) shows a characteristic predilection for a certain type of female character. The social context is addressed through the varied discourses of the dominant ideology. These discourses are confronted with the ideology articulated by the novels under examination (chap. 7). This study concludes with a discussion that aims to identify both the similarities and contrasts between the dominant discourse and that of Djebar s novels (chap. 8).Keywords: Algerian literature in French, sociocritique, semiological analysis, ideology, social unconscious, social discourse, overdetermination, women, anomy, La Soif [The Mischief], Les Impatients, Les Enfants du Nouveau Monde [Children of the New World], Les Alouettes Naïves, Assia Djebar.
Doctor of Philosophy
Göteborgs universitet/University of Gothenburg
Department of Romance Languages
Institutionen för romanska språk
Lilla hörsalen de la faculté des Sciences Humaines,Renströmsgatan 6 kl. 10.00
Date of defence