Cave Culture in Maghrebi Literature

Cave Culture in Maghrebi Literature : Imagining Self and Nation

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The only studies on North African caves have been published in French and examine primarily physical cave sites. My book discusses the literary cave as a metaphor for national identity and the homeland-patrie- in Francophone North African postcolonial literature and film focusing on the themes of folklore, war, Berber traditions, femininity, sexuality, and war. It offers new insights into Francophone postcolonial studies and folklore and fills a gap in postcolonial literary and cultural scholarship.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 214 pages
  • 152.4 x 231.14 x 15.24mm | 362.87g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 0739168754
  • 9780739168752

About Christa Jones

Christa Jones is assistant professor of French in the Department of Languages, Philosophy and Communication Studies at Utah State University. She has published numerous articles on North African Francophone literature and film in peer-reviewed journals such as Contemporary French and Francophone Studies, Dalhousie French Studies, Expressions Maghrebines, Francofonia, French Review, Nouvelles Etudes Francophones, and Women Studies Quarterly, among others. She is co-editing a special issue on Women from the Maghreb for Dalhousie French Studies.
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Review quote

Jones (French, Utah State Univ.) highlights the importance of the cave and cave imagery in Maghrebi culture and the pervasive presence of the cave in Francophone literature from the region. Taking as source texts works by major Francophone North African writers (Mohammed Dib, Tahar Ben Jelloun, Assia Djebar, and others) and filmmakers (Moumen Smihi), the author traces the longevity of cave imagery through its presence in Islamic and pre-Islamic oral traditions, as evidenced in the folktales that are also among the primary sources for this study. Jones seems to have anticipated that this study of the cave as symbol and metaphor might interest readers with little prior knowledge of Francophone North African literature and/or the recent history of the region because she includes a great deal of such background information in the text. She succeeds in demonstrating the multifaceted role of the cave as a literary motif and its symbolic value in imagining the nation and national identity. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, researchers, faculty. CHOICE "Both within and beyond the landscape of North Africa, the cave represents more than its geographical characteristics in its literary and cultural production. In this truly original work, Christa Jones invites the reader to envision the cave both thematically and symbolically through North African folktales and francophone literature. Using both well known (Tahar Ben Jelloun's work) and lesser known (popular folktales) literary representations, she examines the cave across national boundaries and across genres, providing a new perspective on the rich cultural and literary history of the region." -- Pamela A. Pears, Washington College
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Table of contents

Introduction Chapter One: Sites of Wonders and Miracles: The Cave in Kabylian Folktales The Cave in Islam and the Legend of the Seven Sleepers Tales of Wonder and Magic: Metamorphoses in Troglodytic Caves "Zalghoum, la belle promise," "Loundja, plus belle que la lune," and "Fibule d'argent Places of Transfiguration, Female Disobedience, and Emancipation "L'oiseau vert," "Une histoire d'ogre," and "Histoire de l'ogre et de la belle femme," Rites of Passage, Gateways to Happiness, Insight, and Maturation "La bague enchantee," Pepe Colosso," "Ahmed, fils de bucheron," and "Chrab Dekhane" Of Treasures, Divination, and Hideous Crimes "Attiallah," "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves," "La caverne des Djinns," and "Tout secret se trouve un jour devoile" Chapter Two: Wo(men) in Caverns, Wo(men) at War: The War Novels Death traps in Djebar's Fantasia and in Bey's Pierre sang papier ou cendre The Involvement of Moudjahidates-Myth versus Reality Resisting War: Yamina Mechakra's La grotte eclatee Crushing the Rebels' Resistance - Georges Buis's La grotte Clearly Out of Luck: Nabile Fares' Yahia, pas de chance From one War to Another: Waciny Lareej's La gardienne des ombres Chapter Three: Country vs. City: Of Troglodytes, Peasants, Drifters, and Women Of Troglodytes and Tradition: Driss Chraibi's Une enquete au pays Awakening Femininity: Hawa Djabali's Glaise rouge Discovering Femininity: Hawa Djabali's Agave Moumen Smihi's El Chergui, Vent de l'est ou le silence violent Mohammed Dib's Qui se souvient de la mer Mohamed Choukri's Le pain nu Chapter Four: Of Sexuality, Desire, and Madness in Tahar Ben Jelloun's Texts Deviant Sexualities: From Harrouda to L'enfant de sable The Madman: Moha le fou, Moha le sage Ben Jelloun's La fiancee de l'eau, a Feminist Play Unbridled Sexuality, Desire, and Dream Culture in La nuit de l'erreur Afterword
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