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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

Chapter:
(p.160) Chapter 9 How Not to Speak of Algeria
Source:
Volleys of Humanity
Author(s):

Hélène Cixous

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748639038.003.0010

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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