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Francophone Literary Representations of Indian Decolonization: Catherine Clment's Pour l'amour de l'Inde (1993) and Hlne Cixous's L'Indiade ou l'Inde de leurs rves (1987)

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Abstract:

The importance of Cixous and Clment to French feminism remains uncontested; however, their use of India in fictional texts, specifically the historical event of decolonization by the British, has hitherto been overlooked. The present article will address this omission. Through the exploration of postcolonial and feminist theory (a central tenet of both being the problematic of the representation of those previously absent from history) the notion of the literary representation of 1947 India within francophone literature will be examined. Accordingly, feminist, historical and postcolonial discourse will be engaged with in order to analyse both writers' use of India. The article will conclude by demonstrating that despite the techniques of criture fminine and postcolonial representations which eschew the binary opposition of the East's other to the West's self, there is a continuity evident in Western literary representations of India (both anglophone and francophone) that transcends the event of political decolonization.

Keywords: British Colonial History; Catherine Clment; French Feminism; Historical Fiction; Hlne Cixous; Literary Representations of India; Partition of India in 1947; Postcolonialism

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1386/ijfs.4.3.146

Publication date: 2002-11-01

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  • The International Journal of Francophone Studies offers a critical preview for a new development in the understanding of 'France outside France', with a thorough insight into the network of disciplinary issues affiliated with this study. The journal complements the thriving area of scholarly interest in the French-speaking regions of the world, bringing a location of linguistic, cultural, historical and social dynamics within a single academic arena.
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