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The Colonizer and the Colonized
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Tour d'Afrique 2017 > July-August 2017 | Tunisia: The Colonizer and the Colonized by Albert Memmi

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message 1: by Anetq, Tour Operator & Guide (new) - rated it 3 stars

Anetq | 260 comments Mod
Welcome to the discussion of our choice for Tunisia: Albert Memmi's The Colonizer and the Colonized


message 2: by Nina (new)

Nina Chachu | 191 comments Wow; I think I read this in college - rather a long time ago!


message 3: by Sofia, Short Story Reading Chief (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sofia | 94 comments Mod
Yay! I read a couple of chapters at uni - such a great read. Can't wait to read it properly now!


message 4: by Diane, Head Librarian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Diane | 209 comments Mod
I actually own this one, so I'm really excited!


message 5: by Anetq, Tour Operator & Guide (new) - rated it 3 stars

Anetq | 260 comments Mod
I finally managed to track down a copy of this - and it's a nice slim volume - so I'll get started on this soon!


message 6: by Anetq, Tour Operator & Guide (last edited Oct 01, 2017 11:57PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Anetq | 260 comments Mod
So did anyone read this yet? Any thoughts or comments?


Amiya (amiya10) | 11 comments Really late, but I've begun reading this now. Hope to finish by mid-November!


message 8: by Anetq, Tour Operator & Guide (new) - rated it 3 stars

Anetq | 260 comments Mod
I've been trying to read this - and while the descriptions of the types of colonizers and colonized seems very clever and thought provoking, I found the description of everyone involved odd - in that every single reference was to men. At first I read it with an open mind thinking "Oh, maybe we're just talking about mankind, it might just be a figure of speech even if it is old-fashioned". But then I got to the part, where he mentions the colonizer's wife - and just dismisses all women.
Then I stopped reading this nicely; How does anyone who creates such a detailed portrait of the psychology of colonization and all the positions that are possible within the contexts seem to have NO awareness of his own misogynist attitude?
I wonder if this gets better later in the book? Or are women just non-beings who wants money and the comfort of luxury to be provided for them?


Donna (thisbrownegirl) | 1 comments I read it. I read with an open mind, I actually did not take gender in account. I read it strictly based on the thoughts and the effect of colonialism on the part of the colonizer and the colonized. Ha, now you’ve given me another perspective. I will need to revisit the book.

I’m just beginning Kintu.


message 10: by Anetq, Tour Operator & Guide (last edited Nov 11, 2017 01:42PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Anetq | 260 comments Mod
Donna wrote: "I read it. I read with an open mind, I actually did not take gender in account. I read it strictly based on the thoughts and the effect of colonialism on the part of the colonizer and the colonized..."

Hope it doesn’t spoil your opinion of it :) And great to hear someone is tackling Kintu!


message 11: by Anetq, Tour Operator & Guide (new) - rated it 3 stars

Anetq | 260 comments Mod
I made it all the way through! It was a bit of a tough read (maybe it's the late 60's French coming through in the translation?)
I think he has extremely valid points and his analysis of the colonizers and the colonized are rather profound - even more so for it's time.


message 12: by Wim (new) - rated it 3 stars

Wim | 50 comments Anetq wrote: "But then I got to the part, where he mentions the colonizer's wife - and just dismisses all women.
Then I stopped reading this nicely; How does anyone who creates such a detailed portrait of the psychology of colonization and all the positions that are possible within the contexts seem to have NO awareness of his own misogynist attitude?"


Hello Anetq, you are absolutely right about the misogynist comments in the book, even though it is only a short paragraph in which women are mentioned.

I think you have to look at this in a historical perspective: the book was first published in 1957 and back then almost no women in France had university diplomas and were allowed to work. They were largely confined to the household sphere.

The rest of the book (I am at 2/3 now) can be read in a gender neutral fashion, as the descriptions of the colonizer and the colonized and their attitudes can apply to both men and women.

I am reading the original French version, and can assure that it is not an easy read: long sentences with complicated structures, sometimes I have to read them 2-3 times in order to fully comprehend what the author means by them.

Once I reach the end, I'll write some comments about the ideas developed in the book.


message 13: by Wim (new) - rated it 3 stars

Wim | 50 comments I just finished the book. It was a bit of a struggle though, not because of the analysis which is clear and convincing, but I guess more because of the language, dense and complex.
I especially liked the book because it is not just about France and its former colony of Tunésie, not just about colonial relations, but it deals with the ambiguous relations in any regime or situation of oppression.
I live in a former French colony and I recognize lots of aspects of Memmi's analysis in daily life and contacts between locals and expats.
That brings about many questions: why are paternalistic attitudes and abuses still existing up to today? How to stop the unequal and unjust relationship and start building a world based on universal values and solidarity?


message 14: by Anetq, Tour Operator & Guide (new) - rated it 3 stars

Anetq | 260 comments Mod
Good questions Wim! And I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who found it hard to get through :)


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