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Of Imposture and Incompetence: Paul Smaïl's "Vivre me tue"

Paul Smaïl's "Vivre me tue" was marketed as a demonstration of the importance of artistic talent and the irrelevance of ethnic origins in determining the value of a literary text. Yet these claims are repeatedly contradicted by references to the author's Maghrebi (North African) origins, which... Full description

1st Person: Begag, Azouz
Additional Persons: Hargreaves, Alec G. verfasserin
Source: in Research in African literatures Vol. 37, No. 1 (2006), p. 55-71
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Type of Publication: Article
Language: English
Published: 2006
Keywords: research-article
Online: Volltext
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Summary: Paul Smaïl's "Vivre me tue" was marketed as a demonstration of the importance of artistic talent and the irrelevance of ethnic origins in determining the value of a literary text. Yet these claims are repeatedly contradicted by references to the author's Maghrebi (North African) origins, which are constantly presented as a reference point against which the triumph of his artistic achievement is measured. The ethnic bedrock on which these claims are based is further undermined by the true ethnicity of the author, who is of French, not North African, origin. In addition, the literary merit claimed for the novel is undercut by numerous inconsistencies in the narration of the text, which gravely compromise its artistic integrity. Far from representing the triumph of a free-floating literary talent over minority ethnic bonds, "Vivre me tue" flounders in a sea of artistic incompetence fed by the author's inability to divest himself of a majority ethnic mindset clouded by racist prejudices.
Item Description: Copyright: Copyright 2006 Indiana University Press
Physical Description: Online-Ressource
ISSN: 1527-2044

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