chapter  2
‘We Algerians’
National Emergencies and Alternative Genealogies 1
ByLindsey Moore
Pages 46

This chapter approaches Algerian foundational and enduring violence with reference to the literary production of an alternative national imaginary that re-enfolds Camus. It stages the eruption of indigenous violence, positing it as inevitable in a colonial settler situation–for which Algeria is the primary model–and in terms of 'an extraordinarily reciprocal homogeneity'. The chapter explores that 'feminine' is posited as a modality of relation contrasted with defensive notions of a secure, closed or finished state. It demonstrates ways in which Algerian writers insist on a postcolonial orientation toward holistic revolt in national quest for freedom, or the 'up-end[ing] of mentalities' as well as political systems. In Harraga, the Catholic convent where Louiza is born is, like Lamia's house, a margin of the country outside the control of the mosque, which barely survives as evidence of Algeria's historical heterogeneity. Rue Darwin is partly homage to Camus, recalling not only his 'thought at the meridian', but also the world remembered in The First Man.