Australian Journal of French Studies

Spectres insistants: Primary and Secondary Hauntings in Kamel Daoud’s Meursault, contre-enquête

Australian Journal of French Studies (2019), 56, (3), 221–233.

Abstract

In a complex return to Albert Camus’s L’Etranger, Kamel Daoud’s Meursault, contre-enquête (2013) explores the ghosts of Algeria’s colonial past. By making the fate of Meursault’s murdered victim the center of his story, Daoud gives the nameless “Arab” a name, “Moussa”, and a family. Moussa’s younger brother Haroun has the responsibility of recounting the day of his brother’s death as well as his family’s destiny in the wake of the tragedy. This essay concentrates on the haunted presences in the novel and, in a critical hauntological reading, examines the novel’s primary hauntings in the form of the ghosts of Moussa and Camus, and its secondary hauntings through the allusions to the Oran massacre of 1962. These examples of insistent haunting in Meursault, contre-enquête compel a critical witnessing of this period of Algeria’s colonial history.

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Author details

GOELLNER, SAGE