Year:2022 Volume: 7 Issue: 1 Area: Language, Literature & Linguistics

Fouad Mami
Book Review: Joseph Ford, Writing the Black Decade: Conflict and Criticism in Francophone Algerian Literature, New York: Lexington Books, 2021, pp.43-44.
In studying Francophone Algerian Literature of the 1990s, a period otherwise known as the Black Decade or la dcennie noire, Ford finds out that the literary outputs, instead of clarifying the conflict, reify it. Indeed, literary outputs published by celebrity figures both during the 1990s and after not only stay neutral about the ideological struggle between the secular-and-military status quo on the one hand and their Islamist contestants on the other, but deem it their mission to testify for posterity. That war was tagged as cultural and simplified to the point of pitting progressivists against depressives. Such a binary portrayal gained currency during the post-Cold War context where ideas of the clash of civilizations become the modo Operandi. Generations of Algerian authors, Ford specifies, have uncritically fallen to that categorization less because they were complicit with the states narrative but more due to channels of reception in France.

Keywords: Algeria, France, Francophone, Literature
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