Albert Memmi The Colonizer And The Colonized

Topics: Colonialism, Jean-Paul Sartre, Colony Pages: 173 (44824 words) Published: April 11, 2015
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First published in Britain in hardcov-er and paperback by
.Souvenir Press (Educational & Academic) Ltd in 1974
This edition first published in paperback in the UK in 2003
by Earths can Publications Ltd
Copyright © Albert Mernrni, 1974
Translation copyright © 1965 by The Orion Press, Inc.
Copyright New Introduction© 2003 Nadine Gordimer
All rights reserved
A catalogue record for this book is available from
the British Library
ISBN 1-84407-040-9 paperback
l-84407-060-3 hardback
Translated by Howard Greenfeld from
Portrait du Colonise precede du
Portrait du Colonisateur, © by Editions Buchet/Chaste!,
Correa, 1957
Printed and bound in the UK by Creative Print and Design Wales Cover design by Ruth Bateson
For a full list of publications please contact:
Earthscan Publications Ltd
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This book is printed on elemental chlorine-free paper

Preface
1965

It would be untrue to say that I foresaw the full significance of this book in 1957 when I wrote it. I had written a first novel, The Pillar of Salt, a life story
which was in a sense a trial balloon to help me find
the· direction of my own life. However, it became
clear to me that a real life for a cultured man was
impossible in North Africa at that time. I then tried
to find another solution, this time through the problems of a mixed_ marriage, but this second novel, Strangers, also led me nowhere. My hopes then rested
on the "couple," which still seems to me the most
solid happiness of man and perhaps the only real
answer to solitude. But I discovered that the couple
is not an isolated entity, a forgotten oasis of light in
the middle of the world; on the contrary, the whole
\\-odd is within the couple. For my unfortunate protagonists, the world was that of colonization. I felt that to understand the failure of their undertaking,
that of a mixed marriage in a colony, I first had to
understand the colonizer and the colonized, perhaps
the entire colonial relationship and situation. All this
was leading me far from myself and from my own
problems, but their explanation became more and
more complex; so without knowing where I would

Preface

4

end up, I had to at least try to put an end to my own
anguish.
It would be equally untrue to say that my ambition
in painting this portrait of one of the major oppressions of our time was to describe oppressed peoples in general; it was not even my intention to write
about all colonized people. I was Tunisian, therefore
colonized. I discovered that few...
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