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La littrature-monde en franais: mlancolie ou illusion?

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In recent years world-literature in French has been heading towards a melancholic place. One reason may be that literature as cultural institution in France is slowly fading into less relevant forms that promote identity or even what the body politic refers to as national essence. Is it possible to acknowledge Francophone literature without its historical and theoretical frames? Is it condemned to continue to look back while making headways? Any scholar would be under the impression that France finds itself caught between its past and the stakes of globalization. Not surprisingly the French language has become more disseminated just like the old French Franc that has dissolved into the Euro zone. This uneasiness stands at the core of any study if only because literary production and reception have been growing apart. The clear distinction between the standing of Francophone studies in North America and in France is a point in case. As for postcolonial theories and discourse, one can only point to their limitations when it comes to addressing world-literature in French. It seems that cultural hegemony has replaced the old economic patterns. One implications of world-literature in French is to set the discourse back on values rather than on institutions.
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Keywords: etudes dites postcoloniales; exil; francophonie; littrature-monde; monde arabe; mondialisation; romans

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Yale University.

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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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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