• Double Exposure: The Family Album and Alternate Memories in Leïla Sebbar's The Seine was Red

    Author(s):
    Laila Amine (see profile)
    Date:
    2012
    Group(s):
    LLC 20th- and 21st-Century French, LLC Francophone, TC Memory Studies, TC Postcolonial Studies, TM Literary Criticism
    Subject(s):
    Cultural studies, Francophone literature, French literature, Media studies, Political literature
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    arab world, collective politics, contemporary fiction, decolonial theory, Maghrib
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6QW3R
    Abstract:
    Amine’s essay explores memory-making and highlights a paradox in Leı¨la Sebbar’s The Seine was Red, a novel that describes the conflicting memories of the police massacre of Algerians in Paris on 17 October 1961. Structured as a family album with captioned identities, place, and time, Sebbar’s novel employs a mode of remembrance that conventionally illuminates the unity of families. Instead, the text emphasizes conflict among diverse protagonists (French and Algerian participants and witnesses on both side of the Algerian war and their descendants) and absences with blank pages that evoke missing testimonies. In reversing the general tenor of the family genre to narrate an imperial tragedy, Amine argues that The Seine exposes the often linear, consensus-driven narrative of community that obliterates inglorious events, which states as well as families adopt as they suppress internal conflict in the representation of their past. In opposition to these exclusionary and homogeneous narratives constructed by select actors, The Seine offers a commemorative model that is inclusionary, dissonant, and participatory.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal Article
    Publisher:
    Taylor & Francis Group
    Journal:
    Culture, Theory, and Critique
    Volume:
    53
    Issue:
    2
    Start Page:
    181
    End Page:
    198
    Status:
    Published
    License:
    All Rights Reserved

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