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Revisiting Isabelle Eberhardt’s Lettres et Journaliers

From: Women in French Studies
Volume 21, 2013
pp. 41-55 | 10.1353/wfs.2013.0002



Isabelle Eberhardt is considered the first Maghrebian writer of French expression (Edmonde Charles-Roux), not only because she traveled in the Maghreb and wrote in French, but rather because she had adopted the Maghreb as her permanent home, embraced its culture, and was an outspoken critic of colonization. Eberhardt traveled extensively in North Africa, at the turn of the twentieth century, and related her experiences in Lettres et Journaliers. This article examines how Eberhardt represents notions of trespass and the creation of the Other in relation to the colonial project. It also invites the reader to reconsider her life and writing from a contemporary perspective by viewing her travel narrative as a memoir of exile and dislocation and by framing the traveler in the context of a cosmopolitan discourse.

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