Chapter

Edward Said and Assia Djebar Counterpoint and the Practice of Comparative Literature

Kathryn Lachman

in Borrowed Forms

Published by Liverpool University Press

Published in print October 2014 | ISBN: 9781781380307
Published online January 2015 | e-ISBN: 9781781387290 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.5949/liverpool/9781781380307.003.0003
Edward Said and Assia Djebar Counterpoint and the Practice of Comparative Literature

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This chapter examines Said's theory of counterpoint in relation to Assia Djebar's novel Les Nuits de Strasbourg (1997). Said proposed musical counterpoint both as a strategy for rethinking the polarized hatred in the Middle East, and as a model on which a more worldly, inclusive and responsible practice of comparative literature could be founded. Djebar's novel employs counterpoint to place Franco-Algerian history within the context of an increasingly multicultural Europe in which communities are forced to make sense of multiple, competing histories. Through a reading of Djebar's work, this chapter offers a precise, textual approach for understanding how counterpoint plays out in contemporary fiction. It also traces the influence of counterpoint on subsequent critical theories.

Keywords: Edward Said; Assia Djebar; counterpoint; history; multidirectional memory; Antigone; Leila Sebbar; Jacques Derrida; Algerian war; amnesty; relation

Chapter.  12149 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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