Amnesia, Revelation, and Understanding in Francophone Algerian Theater: Au loin, les caroubiers by Fatima Gallaire and Mémoires à la dérive by Slimane Benaïssa
- L'Esprit Créateur
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Volume 54, Number 4, Winter 2014
- pp. 27-36
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The unworthy practices of the war of independence have had lasting effects on Algerian communities. Yet any omission in the treatment of the history of a community leaves a door open for the return of the repressed. The subject of amnesic amnesty granted to executioners or traitors reappears throughout the works of Algerian contemporary French-speaking playwrights. This article puts into perspective the correlation between lack of memory and the resurgence of the wounds of history through the analysis of two plays, Mémoire à la dérive by Slimane Benaissa and Au loin, les caroubiers by Fatima Gallaire. These authors have chosen to write some of their drama in French, but always in order to directly evoke the Algerian history. Both question the paradoxical position in which they find themselves as Algerian and Berber writers steeped in French culture.