The Albert Memmi Reader

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The Albert Memmi Reader

Edited by Jonathan Judaken and Michael Lejman

France Overseas: Studies in Empire and Decolonization Series

384 pages
index

Hardcover

February 2021

978-1-4962-0323-6

$80.00 Pre-order

About the Book

Born in 1920 on the edge of Tunis’s Jewish quarter, the French, Jewish, and Tunisian sociologist, philosopher, and novelist Albert Memmi has been a central figure in colonial and postcolonial studies. Often associated with the anticolonial struggles of the 1950s and 1960s, Memmi’s career has spanned fifty years, more than twenty book-length publications, and hundreds of articles that are distilled in this collection.

The Albert Memmi Reader presents Memmi’s insights on the legacies of the colonial era, critical theories of race, and his distinctive story. Memmi’s novels and essays feature not only decolonial struggles but also commentary on race, the psychology of dependence, and what it means to be Jewish.

This reader includes selections from his classic works, such as The Pillar of Salt and The Colonizer and the Colonized, as well as previously untranslated pieces that punctuate Memmi’s literary life and career, illuminating the full arc of one of the great thinkers of the twentieth century. Selections from his later works speak directly to contemporary issues in European, African, and Middle Eastern studies, such as racism, immigration and European identity, and the struggles of postcolonial states, including Israel/Palestine.


 

Author Bio

Albert Memmi (1920–2020) was a French, Jewish, and Tunisian sociologist, philosopher, and novelist. Jonathan Judaken is the Spence L. Wilson Chair in Humanities at Rhodes College. He is the author of Jean-Paul Sartre and the Jewish Question: Anti-antisemitism and the Politics of the French Intellectual (Nebraska, 2006). Michael Lejman is associate vice chancellor for institutional research and effectiveness at Arkansas State University, Mid-South.
 
 

Praise

“Memmi’s opus, presented as it is here, allows readers access to the literary trajectory of a distinguished writer and will breathe new life into current scholarship and teaching on colonialism, literature, theory, and Jewish history. And a beautiful dialogue emerges, one that places Memmi’s ideas in conversation with himself and with readers in new and exciting ways.”—James D. Le Sueur, author of Uncivil War: Intellectuals and Identity Politics during the Decolonization of Algeria and director of the film The Art of Dissent
 
 

“This volume makes an extremely important contribution to numerous fields. Memmi’s work is of critical importance for postcolonial studies, Jewish studies, and studies in comparative racism; his is an exceptional and unique voice that adds nuance, detail, and depth to scholarship on North Africa and the Middle East, the Israel/Palestine question, and even contemporary issues of migration.”—Lia Nicole Brozgal, author of Against Autobiography: Albert Memmi and the Production of Theory
 

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction by Jonathan Judaken
Part 1. BIOGRAPHICAL REFLECTIONS
1. Sea and SunGrowing Up as a Minority Child
2 The Stationary Nomad (Autobiographical snippets)
3 The Land Within: Interview with Victor Malka
4 Tunisia, A Minor League Country: The State of Affairs
5 Tunisian Diaries 1955-1956
6 Preface to Portrait of a Jew
7 Interview with Albert Memmi by Dov Maimon
8 The Fecundity of Exile
9 Passport for a Hoped Immortality

Part 2. THE PILLAR OF SALT (1953)
10 The City
11 The Blind Alley
12 The Sabbath
13 Old Clothes
14 High School
15 The Choice
16 The Others
17 The War
18 The Inventory

Part 3. AGAR (STRANGERS, 1955)

Part 4. THE COLONIZER AND THE COLONIZED (1957)
19 Preface to the 1965 Edition
20 Does the Colonial Exist
21 Camus, or the Colonizer of Good Will
22 Mythical Portrait of the Colonized
23 Conclusion

Part 5. PORTRAIT OF A JEW (1962)
24 Revolution and Zionism: Some Observations on Sartre Regarding his Opinions on the Situation of Jews
25 Draft for an Introduction to Portrait of a Jew
26 The Problem
27 The Difference
28 The Myth
29 The Shadowy Figure
30 Conclusion – The Oppressed
31 Little Portrait of the Jew

Part 6. LIBERATION OF THE JEW (1966)
32 Preface
33 Does the Jew Exist
34 Assimilation
35 Self Hatred
36 The Encystment
37 Sanctuary Values
38 Is there a Jewish Culture?
39 The Jew and the Revolution
40 The Way Out
41 Response of Albert Memmi to Richard Marienstras
42 Preface to Israeli Edition

Part 7. DOMINATED MAN (1968)
43 Why I wrote Dominated Man
44 The Paths of the Revolt
45 A Total Revolt
46 The Negro and the Jew
47 The Impossible Life of Frantz Fanon
48 The New Slaves
49 Letter to Sally N’Dongo
50 A Tyrant’s Plea

Part 8. THE SCORPION, OR THE IMAGINARY CONFESSION (1969)
51 Uncle Maklouf—1 (Notes for a Portrait)
52 My Travels

Part 9. JEWS AND ARABS (1974)
53 Questions for Colonel Kadhafi
54 What is an Arab Jew?
55 The Colonized Jew
56 Justice and Nation
57 The Arab Nation and the Israeli Thorn
58 Israel

Part 10. THE DESERT, OR THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF JUBAIR WALI AL-MAMMI (1977)
59 What Historians Have to Say
60 What Historians Add

Part 11. DEPENDENCE (1979)
61 Introduction
62 Fanaticism
63 Appendix: A Definition of Dependence

Part 12. RACISM (1982)
64 An Attempt at a Definition
65 What is Racism
66 Racism and Colonization
67 Racism and Anti-Semitism
68 Treatment

Part 13. LITERARY REFLECTIONS
69 For a Novel of Meaning (1959)
70 Introduction, Anthology of Maghrebi Writers in French (1964)
71 Introduction: A Literature of Separation, Anthology of French Writers of the Maghreb (1969)
72 Preface, Francophone Writers of the Maghreb: An Anthology (1985)
73 What Language to Write In? The Literary Homeland of the Colonized (1996)
74 Emergence of a Maghrebi Literature in French: The 1954 Generation

Part 14. DECOLONIZATION AND THE DECOLONIZED (2004)
75 The Decolonized Man (1967)
76 Fundamentalisms and Secularism (1989)
77 Decolonization and the Decolonized: Postface to the Pocket Edition (2004)
78 Decolonization and the Decolonized, selections
79 Elias Levy, “An Exclusive Interview with Albert Memmi” (2012)
80 Interview by Fériel Berraies Guigny, “Today, heterophobia has become an extension of a biological rejection of everyone’s cultural features!” (2008)