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Women and boundaries in the fiction of Mouloud Feraoun

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The fiction of Algerian writer and novelist Mouloud Feraoun (191362) tends to have been overshadowed by that of his contemporaries, the latter being seen as more engags at a time when Algeria needed strong literary statements. Fifty years on, this essay seeks to reappraise his novels in the light of, specifically, his treatment of women. The initial, and then more recent, critical reception of his works is briefly examined. It is then argued that his portrayal of female characters presents their situation, and the constraints placed upon them, as indicative of what he saw as repressive in Kabyle culture (thus woman functions as symbol of that culture). But it is also suggested that these portraits, and in particular the evocation of female friendships, function in a sense as revolutionary literary symbols at a troubled time, in that Feraoun also uses woman, cast positively, as example of what that culture can aspire to.

Keywords: Algeria; Kabyle culture; Kabylia; crossing boundaries; female solidarity; litterature engage; portrayal of women; transgression

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2003-11-01

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