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Reference: Lee-Perriard, Marta, (2003). Border subjects. Dphil. University of Oxford.Citable link to this page:


Border subjects Subtitle: A textual dialogue between Assia Djebar and Hélène Cixous

Abstract: The absence of a public dialogue, either about or between Assia Djebar and HélèneCixous is mystifying, because they move in academic/literary/intellectual/biographicalcircles that overlap. Reading for the textual dialogue between Cixous's and Djebar's writingreveals the development of a narrative and writing position, referred to here as the 'border-subject', the roots of which stem from the authors' biographies. Reading Djebar's andCixous's oeuvre, against the background of Franchise Lionnet's and Gloria Anzaldua'stheoretical landscape, simultaneously enlarges the critical optic as well as the scope of eachindividual writer's oeuvre.What characterises the fictional border subject in Les Impatients and Dedans is awillingness to transgress boundaries. The fictional border subject negotiates with threedifferent spatial dynamics: the separation from the other, spatial metaphors, and history'sinvasion of domestic space. In the subsequent 'Le Rire de la méduse' and Femmes d'Algerdans leur appartement, Djebar and Cixous write as border subjects in order to craft liberatingstrategies intended to redress the mis-representation or absence of women's body. As aconsequence of the preceding texts, L'Amour, la fantasia and Les Rêveries de la femme sauvagecontain the authors' semi-autobiographical questioning of the border subject in relation toorigin, language, belonging and home: this enables a re-animation of the Algerian past,both individual and collective. Lastly, in Le Blanc de I'Algérie and Le Jour où je n'étais pas là theborder subject is put aside: although absent, the narrating 'je' remains connected withevents and bears witness. This dimension of testimony represents an exciting developmentin the authors' oeuvre and their political commitment.What emerges from a comparative reading is the authors' transformation of the bordersubject into an engagement with the Algerian present. Solidarity amongst Algerian bornwriters can transform literature into an indestructible repository for the dream of a multi-lingual, multi-cultural Algeria.

Type of Award:Dphil Level of Award:Doctoral Awarding Institution: University of Oxford Notes:The digital copy of this thesis has been made available thanks to the generosity of Dr Leonard Polonsky


Dr Elizabeth FallaizeMore by this contributor


 Bibliographic Details

Issue Date: 2003Identifiers

Urn: uuid:f7c122f0-aade-453f-af1b-d4b7a10d0a93

Source identifier: 602336221 Item Description

Type: Thesis;

Language: eng Subjects: Criticism and interpretation Tiny URL: td:602336221


Author: Lee-Perriard, Marta - institutionUniversity of Oxford institutionBalliol College University of Oxford facultyHumanities Division



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