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Littrature-monde: hospitality in/and the Tower of Babel

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This article proposes a reading of the Manifeste pour une littrature-monde en franais and the book version of it as a Babelian event, in order to discern the underlying assumptions of the authors' definition of littrature-monde. Central to this analysis is the recognition and exploration of the problematic use of the term monde and its qualifier en franais. The critical potential of the manifesto is explored and the limitations of its rhetoric are noted. It is proposed that as a Babelian text, the manifesto contains the germs of promoting a culture of literary dialogue overriding the dominant rhetoric of death of an old literary order in which it is couched, inspired by Jacques Derrida's view of hospitality.
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Keywords: Babel; Derrida; Francophone; Le Bris; Littrature-monde; hospitality

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Michigan State 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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