Valérie Orlando :Midnight Novelists, Experimental Narratives, and the Influence of the French New Novel on Authors of the Maghreb: 1950-to the New Millennium

On The February 10, 2020

10h00 - 12h00
26, Place Bellecour - 69002 Lyon
Salle de réunion - Allée A - 1er étage

This project explores how the experimental styles and narrative ethos of authors of the French Nouveau Roman influenced Maghrebi authors of French expression from the late 1950s to the present post-postcolonial era.

These authors were known as “Midnight Novelists” because they were published primarily by the publishing house, Les Éditions de Minuit, founded in Paris in 1941. EM was dedicated to authors seeking to circumvent Nazi censorship during the Vichy period and later to those articulating the parameters of decolonization. The French New Novel, replete with nihilistic worldviews posited by anti-heroes, disjointed in their subjecthood, influenced the writing of revolutionary Maghrebi authors such as Kateb Yacine, Mohamed Dib and Driss Chraïbi. In the Post WW-II era, like their French national counterparts, they used the New Novel experimental form to analyze the sociopolitical and ideological tensions of the revolutionary period as well as to express a modern world in chaos that left humankind facing the challenges of postcolonial modernity. The legacy of the experimental forms explored in the 20th century continues to shape the writing of Maghrebi authors in our contemporary times as they engage with present sociopolitical movements and economic upheavals across Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.

Valérie K. Orlando is Professor of French & Francophone Literatures in the Department of French & Italian at the University of Maryland, College Park and a 2019-2020 Collegium de Lyon fellow.