French Studies in Southern Africa - Volume 2003, Issue 32, 2003
Volumes & issues
Volume 2003, Issue 32, 2003
Author Jean-Louis CornilleSource: French Studies in Southern Africa 2003, pp 1 –13 (2003)More Less
We would like to interrogate the use made by the contemporary francophone writer from Martinique, Edouard Glissant, of certain texts dating back 1910, written by the French traveler Victor Segalen. It would seem that Glissant not only refers to Segalen's theories on Exotism in his own theoretical work, but also that he borrows and even rewrites in his own poetic writings whole passages from Segalen's poetry - thus creating a strange "debt" for a writer who wants to sever all links with the old colonial power.
Author Bernard De MeyerSource: French Studies in Southern Africa 2003, pp 14 –29 (2003)More Less
Seemingly chaotic, Gérard de Nerval's works represent an attempt to find a lost unity. Les Filles du Feu would therefore be the ideal book for the author. This work, however, indicates that separation is an essential theme and this articles attempts to unveil it at three levels of discourse: poetical, polemical and symbolic. What at a poetical level seems to be a promising appearance, becomes, in reality, a painful separation, through a transcription of partial memory of a bygone past, which is in essence sorrowful, and the narrator is left with only the mourning for a lost object. This emptiness should be filled by the search for ancestry, both real and symbolic, but separation is at the beginning and the end of each quest.
Author Vanessa EversonSource: French Studies in Southern Africa 2003, pp 30 –40 (2003)More Less
Religion is a dominant element in the writings of Moroccan authors Rachida Saqi, Fadéla Sebti and Rachida Yacoubi. It is equally crucial to their critique of present day, male chauvinist, Muslim, Moroccan society. This article explores the differing views of Islam and of its importance as expressed by these authors and analyses the ways in which they are united in a common faith, concluding that despite their differences, it is with one voice that they speak out on the position of women.
Author Patrick FeinSource: French Studies in Southern Africa 2003, pp 41 –53 (2003)More Less
The credibility underlying the necessity for an exchange of letters in the 18th century epistolary novel is examined, finding that in the hands of some authors, although proximity obviates the need for written communication, authors can still make their characters communicate by this medium. It is further seen that while modern methods of communication are used in cinematographic modernizations, credibility (vraisemblance) is reduced.
Author Francois JaquesSource: French Studies in Southern Africa 2003, pp 54 –64 (2003)More Less
Although coming from totally different backgrounds, Mauriac and Vailland can be compared in their respective attitudes to commitment. Mauriac is always conscious of his responsibilities as a Christian writer; Vailland, the Communist author, attempts to project the communist ideal in his novels. A similar separation and struggle existed in both authors as each tried to reconcile the demands of their beliefs and the artistic norms to which they adhered with equal loyalty.
For Mauriac, the problem revolved around two poles. On the one hand, should the Christian writer write idealised novels which run the risk of falsifying life by emphasising doctrine, or should he, on the other hand, create a work of art regardless of its moral implications or consequences? These are the challenges which the committed writer has to accept and the dilemmas that face him. Mauriac did not compromise his artistic principles and, even though some criticized him, he managed to write convincing novels which incorporated the supernatural and, indeed, the Christian message.
In principle, Vailland was faced with the same problem. Born into a conservative, middle-class family, he joined the Communist party and his writing became much influenced by the Soviet doctrine of socialist realism, which emphasised ideological correctness above all. The dilemma he faced revolved around reconciling art and social duty. His attempts to 'demystify' literature resulted initially in going against his personal convictions regarding individualism of character and the portrayal of ideological correctness at the expense of true art. Some of his characters are good communists but lack artistic depth. Vailland was painfully aware of this dichotomy and was later successful in reestablishing a balance and reconciliation between the demands of ideology and art, finally returning to a greater measure of psychological depth in the portrayal of his characters.
Ultimately, both Mauriac and Vailland, by the recognised quality of their work, showed that it was possible to reach a balance between personal convictions and the demands of literary art.
Author Shirley LeissnerSource: French Studies in Southern Africa 2003, pp 65 –76 (2003)More Less
Henry Millon de Montherlant has often been referred to as alienated, alone, a man on the fringes of society. And most of the protagonists in his theatre are, like their author, outsiders. His characters all delight in their solitude and isolation, and in fact, they seek it. Our intention in this article is to examine these protagonists in four plays (La Reine morte, La Ville dont le Prince est un enfant, Le Maître de Santiago et Le Cardinal d'Espagne) in which such voluntary exile is represented.
Author Leopold PeetersSource: French Studies in Southern Africa 2003, pp 77 –104 (2003)More Less
In the South African context some language departments have taken the decision to teach French literature through translation. This is not a cardinal sin if the lecturer involved uses the confrontation between the original text and its translation to open up the former and deals with the latter as with an interpretation. A case in point: Campbell's translation of Baudelaire. The stereotype concerning the impossibility of translating poetry must be revised: poetry is not only in the poem but the latter is an incarnation of an experience to which its configuration leads. In the case of our two poets the comparison shows that the reading (both interpretation and translation) of Baudelaire's poems has played a major role in the poetical destiny of Campbell, but at the same time the South African brother of Baudelaire highlights the role poetry has played in the latter's destiny in as far as he recognises that the modernist idea of progress is unable to answer the fundamental questions concerning the meaning of human destiny.
Le labyrinthe du monde de Marguerite Yourcenar : L'autobiographie comme dépassement de la séparation entre l'individuel et l'universelAuthor Elizabeth SnymanSource: French Studies in Southern Africa 2003, pp 105 –122 (2003)More Less
The present study explores the paradoxical foregrounding of the universal instead of the individual or the self, in Marguerite Yourcenar's autobiographical trilogy Le Labyrinthe du monde. The article argues that Yourcenar's rejection of the idea of unique individuality, which results in a lack of self-representation, is shaped by three aspects which characterized her intellectual development, namely her abandonment of humanist thought, her acquaintance with oriental religions and the influence of modernism on her writings.
Author Desire Kazadi Wa KabweSource: French Studies in Southern Africa 2003, pp 123 –137 (2003)More Less
This article is based on a double hypothesis: the renewal of young characters and the break-up of narrative genres, which both mark a change in the orientation of Zairean literature in the 1990s. The shift first manifests itself in the appearance of new young characters who represent an idealized youth as opposed to "negative heroes", and also in the forging of a plural form that draws from the structures of traditional literature: stories, tales, epics and legends. There is also a surrealistic and anachronistic overlapping of historical events and fictional elements. This change imbues the literature with a kind of optimism that had been absent since the beginning of the 1990s, and it is achieved because "acting characters" replace "pretext characters" and analyze the political and socio-economic ills of the country. The emergence of mixed genres, far from impoverishing old forms, puts new life into the tales.
Author Annie WynchankSource: French Studies in Southern Africa 2003, pp 138 –153 (2003)More Less
The Jews who settled in North Africa came from both East and West. The last wave of Jews came to the Maghreb from Spain, at the time of the Inquisition, in the 15th century. For hundred of years, the Jewish community who lived in symbiosis with the Muslims, formed a more or less homogeneous society. This situation changed with the arrival of the French in North Africa, Algeria becoming a colony in 1830, and Morocco a Protectorate only in 1909. Also crucial was the Crémieux law, passed in Paris in 1870, which conferred French citizenship upon Algerian Jews, with all the advantages in education, social position and economic benefits this entailed. However, in the 30s and 40s, many Algerian Jews and non Jews moved to Morocco to profit from economic opportunities, causing differences in culture and attitudes and eventually in Jewish identity, to become evident between the two Jewish groups living side by side in Morocco. Algerian Jews readily adopted the French culture and assimilated. This contributed to create a deep rift within this formerly cohesive society.