A Poststructuralist Feminist Reading of Assia Djebar’s Fantasia: An Algerian Cavalcade Based on Hélène Cixous’ and Luce Irigaray’s Theories

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of French Language and Literature, Faculty of Literature, Humanities and Social Sciences , Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of French Language, West Tehran branche, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran



According to poststructural feminism, the patriarchal, phallocentric society is based on binary oppositions. Poststructuralism subverts the patriarchal assertions of difference which impose an arbitrary closure on the differential field of meaning and reduce woman to that which is not man. Poststructuralist feminists, Irigaray and Cixous, call for defining the feminine in terms of “differance,” and believe the appreciation of differences open up new opportunities to women. Inspired by Derridean deconstructionist ideas, they came up with the theory of “écriture feminine” or “feminine writing” supposed to subvert the hierarchical power relations in language and literature. Reviewing this style of writing, the present article investigates if Assia Djebar’s novel, Fantasia: An Algerian Cavalcade, can be considered as an example of écriture feminine. Djebar develops a writing and language fitting to redefine the feminine which has always been marginalized and marked as “the other” in a phallogocentric system. Her style of writing puts this autobiographical novel in the category of écriture feminine.


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