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L'illusoire « meilleure chance » : Le travailleur immigré dans la fiction maghrébine en langue française et dans la fiction caribéenne en langue anglaise, 1948-1979

Abstract : This thesis examines the literary representation of migration from a colony to the imperial metropolis in the period of decolonisation through a comparative analysis of novels by Anglophone Caribbean and Francophone Maghribi writers about migration to Britain and France respectively. A major point of convergence is the focus on the relationship of domination. Lamming, Chraïbi and Kateb address this explicitly as a colonial relationship that is psychological and cultural as well as economic, whereas the 1970s writers Boudjedra and Ben Jelloun place both immigration and colonisation within a wider framework of capitalist exploitation. The difficult material conditions and the racism targeting immigrants are not depicted for their own sake but are the occasion of a wide-ranging critique of European modernity. Maghribi writers attack the rationality of Western civilisation as oppressive, whereas the Caribbean novelists focus on the colonial roots of attitudes to non-Europeans. Both sets of writers nonetheless provide responses to European colonialist discourse and to the positive self-presentation of the coloniser through the manipulation of narrative point of view and voice and through the theme of mental breakdown. Most of the novelists set out to refute negative representations of immigrants by restoring aspects they feel are neglected, in particular the emotional dimension of the immigrant experience and the colonial determinants of the relationship between immigrants and natives. In doing so their representations of immigration often conform to the immigrant figure underpinning the discourses they attack. Their preoccupations are distinct from those of later writers and recent discourses about Caribbean and Maghribi populations in Britain and France : with the exception of Selvon and, more ambiguously, Mengouchi and Ramdane, the novelists are not interested in the process of formation of ethnic-diasporic minorities in France and Britain
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Stéphanie Françoise Decouvelaere. L'illusoire « meilleure chance » : Le travailleur immigré dans la fiction maghrébine en langue française et dans la fiction caribéenne en langue anglaise, 1948-1979. Littératures. Université de la Sorbonne nouvelle - Paris III, 2009. Français. ⟨NNT : 2009PA030059⟩. ⟨tel-00762166⟩

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