Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. ii-iv

Contents

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p. vii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

A constant presence throughout the writing of this book was the voice of Linda Hutcheon, though it spoke mostly inside my head and occasionally from inside my e-mail inbox. The power of a kind word from the right person at the...

Part One

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1. Welcome to Elkader

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pp. 3-13

Elkader lies about five hours northwest of Chicago. Once you fight your way out of the city and pass Rockford, the landscape changes from hard and urban to something more organic that allows the earth’s contours to be seen beneath...

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2. The Death of the Author

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pp. 14-38

How can one honor the specificity of a life lost and acknowledge the broader political significance of the attack on that life? It is tempting to turn a man like Tahar Djaout into a symbol, emptying the individual...

Part Two

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3. Poetry, Prose, and the Politics of Writing in Algeria

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pp. 41-63

Between the ages of twenty-one and twenty-eight Djaout published five books, four of them poetry (Solstice barbelé [Barbed Solstice], L’Arche à vau-l’eau [The Arch Adrift], Insulaire & Cie. [Islander and Co.], and L’Oiseau minéral [The Mineral Bird]),1 and the fifth a...

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4. Final Projects

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pp. 64-84

The last year of Djaout’s life was marked by the appearance of a new novel, Les Vigiles (The Watchers); the completion of a book of poetry, Pérennes; and the drafting of a new novel, Le Dernier Été de la raison (The Last Summer...

Part Three

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5. Dialogues with the Dead

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pp. 87-114

How do we speak to the defunct? Countless points of contact between this world and the other exist. They are located in shrines, where the faithful use relics for ease of access to the divine, or in the eyes or gesture of a child,...

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6. Voyage Immobile

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pp. 115-134

Several years ago, a few colleagues and I invited an Algerian author who was in Toronto for the International Writers’ Festival to dinner. We were in the process of putting together a literary anthology about archives and hoped that...

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7. A Posthumous Interview with Tahar Djaout

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pp. 135-144

julija šukys: It is December 16, 200_. I am joined today by Tahar Djaout. Most dialogues of or with the dead take place in Hades (Lucian and Fontenelle, for example) or in Purgatory (Dante, most famously), and some take place in...

Notes

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pp. 145-180

Works Cited

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pp. 181-192

Index

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pp. 193-197