- Guerre des mémoires ou 'parallèles dangereux' dans 'Le village de l'allemand' de Boualem Sansal
- Modern & Contemporary France
- Volume | Issue number
- 18 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA)
‘The Schiller Brothers’ Diary’ (the subtitle of Boualem Sansal's Le Village de l'Allemand) is the encounter between two diaries that bring together the memories of several European and African communities. Two young men who think that they are the children of Kabylian peasants murdered by Algerian fundamentalists discover that their father is a Nazi war criminal whose story they must uncover. In order to explore the border between fundamentalism and Nazism, Sansal weaves a historical narrative straddling three territories and three national histories (France, Germany and Algeria). He also creates an inextricable knot of ‘entangled memories’. In other words, Le Village de l'Allemand positions itself at the heart of a debate that revolves around what the French often refer to as a ‘war of memories’ or around an attempt to deal with what hostile voices describe as ‘repentance’. The most productive aspect of Sansal's literary text is that it stages the cohabitation between two contradictory forms of memorialisation. The author suggests here an analysis of how Rachel and Malrich, the two heroes of the novel, instrumentalise history from radically different perspectives and a study of the ways in which the novel emphasises the contradictions that persist within each narrative.
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