Australian Journal of French Studies

Le Monolinguisme de l'auteur: Camus, Le Clézio, Derrida

Australian Journal of French Studies (2013), 50, (3), 332–348.

Abstract

This article takes as its point of departure statements of identification through language by two Nobel prize-winning French authors separated in time by several decades: French as "patrie" (fatherland) as expressed by Camus, as "pays" (country, land) by Le Clézio. These appropriations of French are interpreted against the background of a third author (philosopher) whom we find, chronologically at least, half-way between the two authors, namely Derrida, known for his "attachment" to French and whose Le Monolinguisme de l'autre presents itself as referential (inter)text for a parallel reading of two essentially autobiographical novels by the two authors, Le Premier Homme (Camus) and L'Africain (Le Clézio). In the light of this reading, the authors' identification with French reveals itself to be the outcome of a dual colonization, both of and by language, adumbrated around the notions of land and (the language of the) father or mother, set against a backdrop of inevitable violence.

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Author details

Alant, Jaco