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Volleys of HumanityEssays 1972-2009$
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Helene Cixous and Eric Prenowitz

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780748639038

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748639038.001.0001

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How Not to Speak of Algeria

How Not to Speak of Algeria

(p.160) Chapter 9 How Not to Speak of Algeria
Volleys of Humanity

Hélène Cixous

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter focuses on Algeria and writing about Algeria. It first highlights the difficulties Cixous experienced when confronted with the word nation, and reveals her Algerian roots. It then looks at how Algeria auto-colonises or post-auto-colonises itself in the twenty-first century. This includes the denial of cultural multiplicity and a misunderstanding of the relations of sexes and genders in language. It shows that Cixous eventually wrote about Algeria — and her mother — despite her initial misgivings. The chapter further stresses that whoever decides to speak about Algeria should recognise its structure and its dominant feature.

Keywords:   Algeria, nation, auto-colonise, post-auto-colonise, cultural multiplicity, sex and gender, language

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