L'individu et l'identité nationale: L'Échec de l'utopie collectiviste dans le roman francophone contemporain
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This study draws on current approaches in Francophone literary and cultural studies in order to argue for the need for a historical and political understanding of the emergence of narratives of pluralism to the detriment of collectivism on the threshold of the XXI st century, towards a new conception of national identity in the postcolonial Francophone world. My analysis covers three areas of the Francophone world starting with the French Caribbean and Guadeloupian writer Maryse Condé, the Maghreb with Moroccan writer Tahar Ben Jelloun, and Sub-Saharan Africa with Ivorian author Ahmadou Kourouma. My analysis of their narratives shows how anamnesis, its expression through language, the body and gender, have been used to articulate resistance towards colonialism in the Francophone world and to deploy a range of social and aesthetic discourses in the attempt to construct uniform collective identities. I argue however, that more than deficient, collectivism, as anticolonial nationalism's main characteristic, turns out to be a failure, an outdated solution and a paradox, for it reproduces the long-time contested pattern of imperialism. Thus, the issue at stake with this study resides in a new way of apprehending the construction of postcolonial national identities, namely postnational, by calling into question the status of the collective, and by exploring the alternatives of movement as a space of (re)construction suggested by Francophone authors at the dawn of the XXI st century.