This article looks at the thematics of the visual and the visionary in La voyeuse interdite, the first publication of the Franco-Algerian writer Nina Bouraoui. Engaging with a range of theoretical approaches relevant to contemporary women's writing, it points up the significance of representation for Bouraoui's protagonist, Fikria, in both literary and more general political terms. The bi-focal narrative approach in La voyeuse interdite—in which the visual is anchored in a more objective, "external" portrayal of Fikria's existence in her parents' home in Algiers and the visionary, in her subjective imaginative fantasies—allows Bouraoui to depict the everyday reality experienced by Algerian women confined to the home, as well as to articulate their private responses to it in the form of Fikria's visionary interludes: if the role of the visual can be considered to represent that reality, the visionary re-presents it. It is the political potential inherent in this "double vision" that in turn encourages the reader to re-view such notions as subversion and resistance.


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pp. 105-120
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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