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Durham University

School of Modern Languages and Cultures: French Studies

Staff in the Department of French

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Publication details for Dr Rebekah Vince

2017 ''Intersubjective Memory in Maïssa Bey’s Novel Entendez-vous dans les montagnes'', Africa and the West 11, pp. 70-85
  • Publication type: Journal Article
  • ISSN/ISBN: 2602-666X

Author(s) from Durham


Intercultural Memory in Maïssa Bey's novel Entendez-vous dans les montagnes

In analysing Algerian novelist Maïssa Bey's novel Entendez-vous dans les montagnes (2002), this paper explores Achille Mbembe's concept of exile and journeying alongside Michael Rothberg's notions of multidirectionality and knottedness in relation to Franco-Algerian memory. The idea of self-positioning, as theorised by Juliet Mitchell, is explored in relation to the father figure and in the face of the ‘enemy’, as the autobiographical Algerian protagonist encounters her father's murderer. Contrary to the ‘allegation’ identified by Rothberg that ‘trauma theory elides distinctions between perpetrators and victims and that it remains trapped within a Eurocentric framework’ - and in line with Mbembe's critique of the ‘diabolical couple formed by an enemy [...] and a victim’ - Bey tracks a train-journey dialogue between three distinct yet interconnected characters. These include an Algerian refugee and fellaga's daughter, a former member of the French army and a seemingly unaffected third-generation pied-noir.