History and Narration as Weapons of Decolonization: Kateb Yacine’s Nedjma

  • Jessica da Silva C. de Oliveira
Part of the Global Political Sociology book series (GLPOSO)


Drawing attention to the connection between narrative and history, truth, and fiction, popular myths and collective memory, and practice of narration in (post)colonial Maghreb, the chapter purports to read Kateb Yacine’s Nedjma in terms of how it performs the connection between past and present as two interrelated living forces that are constantly mobilized in narratives of collective identity and political transformation. Considered a masterpiece of postcolonial Maghrebian literature, Kateb’s 1956 novel addresses such forces in terms that speak to the anti-colonial revolution envisioned during the Algerian War (1954–1962) against France. Addressing this connection allows not only to locate Kateb’s novel among those attempts at offering a counter-narrative of modernity but also to examine his contributions beyond the captivity of modernity and the nation-state as world-framing. Through these lenses, Kateb’s narration of Algerian cityscapes appears as a methodology for re-imagining and writing the history of postcolonial Maghreb.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Jessica da Silva C. de Oliveira
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of International RelationsPontifical Catholic University of Minas GeraisPoços de CaldasBrazil

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