ASSIA DJEBAR WOMEN OF ALGIERS IN THEIR APARTMENT PDF

February 4, Review by Lucy A. Armstrong Intimacy that is kept distant is a rare attribute in a book, one which few authors — such as Margaret Atwood — have been able to master effectively. But Algerian writer Assia Djebar conveys this sense of secrecy and detachment beautifully as she traces the shadows of her women in Women of Algiers in Their Apartment, a collection of stories from — Though every woman has a story embroiled in vivid emotions, they are often memories and reflections, rather than being in the midst of the moment itself; recollections of torture during the war, or the mourning of a child heard through the walls of the apartment keeps the reader separate from the actual event in most cases, or draws them in after the event to witness the response. Detached World, Displaced People Men and women, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters seem to have their bonds lacerated by the aftermath of war, colonialism, and oppressive Islamic law.

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February 4, Review by Lucy A. Armstrong Intimacy that is kept distant is a rare attribute in a book, one which few authors — such as Margaret Atwood — have been able to master effectively. But Algerian writer Assia Djebar conveys this sense of secrecy and detachment beautifully as she traces the shadows of her women in Women of Algiers in Their Apartment, a collection of stories from — Though every woman has a story embroiled in vivid emotions, they are often memories and reflections, rather than being in the midst of the moment itself; recollections of torture during the war, or the mourning of a child heard through the walls of the apartment keeps the reader separate from the actual event in most cases, or draws them in after the event to witness the response.

Detached World, Displaced People Men and women, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters seem to have their bonds lacerated by the aftermath of war, colonialism, and oppressive Islamic law.

There remains disillusionment, disinterest and little connectivity — even the rare moments of tenderness between men and women are strained. Perhaps the most intimate moment is revealed through the water-carrier of the bathhouse, a place where women go to talk about things they cannot open up about elsewhere.

In a unique moment of transition as she is rushed out of the bathhouse and towards the hospital, in a first-person stream of consciousness the water-carrier reveals the burden on her shoulders as she recounts moments of life which have been torn away in perpetual servitude, and of the joys denied her. Even in the solidarity of pain, the water-carrier cannot find the lost voices of the women, a quest which Sarah, a musicologist, has undertaken.

She drives through the streets feeling displaced and lost, far removed from her childhood a sense that partially drives her friend, a French immigrant, to severe depression. Will the voices ever be heard, or the lens shattered to allow life beyond the walls of mortar, law, and heart? Whether Djebar herself asks this question or leaves it to her characters is up to the reader, but her style and conviction is both powerful and graceful, and though at times her implications are elusive, they trigger subconscious stirrings rather than confusion.

Lucy A. Armstrong is a Canadian writer currently based in the UK. She discovered magical realism and the Diaspora while studying literature in her favourite city, Montreal, and divides her time between discovering new ideas in the art world and creating her own.

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WOMEN OF ALGIERS IN THEIR APARTMENT

In the painting was moved to the Louvre , Paris where it remains today as part of the permanent collection. Three of the women are sumptuously adorned with loose, billowing garments and gold jewellery. One woman has a pink flower in her hair. The fourth woman is a black slave who exits the scene, looking over her left shoulder towards the seated women. This attention to details follows through from his Algerian sketches into the oil painting of the same scene.

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