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Problématique de l'identité littéraire : Comment devenir écrivain francais. Andrei Makine, Vassilis Alexakis, Milan Kundera et Amin Maalouf

Abstract : Our paper is structured in three parts : The concept of identity and narrative identity, The contact of cultures and the cultural identity, Becoming a French writer and we intend to answer the problem announced in the title, determining how a writer who was not born in France can reach the status of a french writer. We have analysed the issue of identity, its different components (personal/social/cultural) and the manner in which this concept is illustrated in the work of the above mentioned authors who are under our scrutiny both on a thematic level and on a narratological one. We have attempted to present the quite complex issue of the cultural contact, with its stages (deculturalization, aculturalization, re-culturalization, trans-culturalization), its consequences, the manner in which the four authors have experienced this cultural contact and how they presented it as testimonials in their novels or autobiographical texts. The third part of our paper illustrates the problem of literary identity from another point of view. It is certain that the authors we are studying lost a country (they did not return alive to their country of origin - with the exception of Alexakis, who as opted for a permanent coming and going between the two countries - even if the circumstances that had made him leave disappeared eventuelly) but they gained a new language (a language of light and happiness which also opened the great gate of entering French Literature) and a new nationality. It is the case of AndreÏ Makine and of Milan Kundera. Milan Maalouf opted for the double citizenship, French-Lebanese, while Vassilis Alexakis refused to obtain French nationality. The four authors reached the level of trans-culturalization, in the meaning defined by Todorov, specifically that of acquiring a new cultural code without completely erasing the previous one and we can clearly remark this in their works. The change of language determined aesthetic and generic (Kundera, Maalouf), formal (Kundera : the differences between the Czech cycle and the French cycle, Makine : the differences between his first and his last writings) variations and issues of self-translation in the case of Alexakis but also Kundera. We are also interested in their professional activity in France (teacher, journalist, etc.), in distinctions and literary awards they received and their role in their naturalization. They are all four laureates of most prestigious awards (Goncourt, Médicis, the award of the French Academy, to mantion some of them) fact which determined important changes in their lives and in the reception of their work.
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Cristina Matei-Chilea. Problématique de l'identité littéraire : Comment devenir écrivain francais. Andrei Makine, Vassilis Alexakis, Milan Kundera et Amin Maalouf. Littératures. Université Jean Monnet - Saint-Etienne, 2010. Français. ⟨NNT : 2010STET2133⟩. ⟨tel-00676463⟩

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