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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Complicity with Orientalism in Third-World women's writing: Fatima Mernissi's fictive memoirs
Author:Bourget, CarineISNI
Year:2013
Periodical:Research in African Literatures (ISSN 0034-5210)
Volume:44
Issue:3
Pages:30-49
Language:English
Geographic term:Morocco
Subjects:autobiography
women writers
About person:Fatima al-Marnisi (1940-2015)ISNI
Link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/research_in_african_literatures/v044/44.3.bourget.pdf
Abstract:Fatima Mernissi, a world-renowned Moroccan sociologist by training, has published many books on topics related to gender and women in Islam, in general, and Moroccan women, in particular. She writes in both French and English and her work has been translated into many languages. Mernissi's autobiography, 'Dreams of Trespass: Tales of a Harem Girlhood', was first published in English in 1994. Labeled as a memoir, this text is clearly written with a 'Western' audience in mind, witness the explanatory footnotes (which vary between the French and English versions). Though Mernissi did not do the French translation herself, she revised and adapted it. This article examines the differences between Mernissi's French and English versions of her autobiography in the context of Third-World autobiographies for the first-world market. The most telling difference between both versions is a footnote added to the French that puts into question the very genre to which the narrative claims to belong. In the light of recent scandals involving fictitious narratives marketed as autobiographies in the US, this paper examines the implications of reading and teaching Mernissi's memoirs in the post 9/11 context. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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