I was proud. Recognition is also important in terms of the individual recognizing home as a familiar, locatable space and feeling that she belongs there. Although he wants to dress like Stallone, he also describes his pride in going to the mosque wearing a djellaba and a chechia just like his father PPB, p.
The lives and ambitions of five men: Fred who is shy and in love with Eva, Max, a young distraught father, Christopher who hides his weaknesses, Adrien who can't help being unfaithful and Jacques, the one-night lover. Anne Jonas. Paris, Call or to donate! Two friends cross the chaos that became their native Ukraine in a tragi-comic road trip. Zaoui, Amin.
Unlike his son, Abdou feels that he has no access to the imagined community of France. Sens interdit, je ne passe plus.
PPB, p. He has set up his world inside that world of yours, friend, which I cannot penetrate, for his nation, which is yours, friend, has been formed and protects itself jealously. A one-way street, I can no longer pass through. LPPB, p.
As a refuse collector he lacks economic status; as an illiterate, Muslim, first-generation immigrant he lacks the social capital to participate in French cultural life. The privileges accorded to cultural insiders are therefore unavailable to him. Having resigned himself to never learning the cultural language of the host nation, Abdou fears his identity is disappearing under the failure of his assimilation — shedding over space and time, as the prefatory quotation to this chapter suggests.
It is a safe space for a migrant, but one that is ultimately unsustainable. Loukoum is a good example of what Rushdie is describing. The polyvalent metaphor of the parenthesis suggests both marginality and inclusion, containment and rupture, and points to the ambivalent relationship between Belleville and Paris. It no longer resembled anything or everything. The people in the streets, Chinese, Blacks, Jews, made their entrances like prima donnas, convinced perhaps that the rest of the world was populated with people destined to acclaim their traditional performances.
It was djellaba-Salamalekoums, kippa-shaloms, dragons with their tongues the colour of blood and gold, who held all the attention. Even the French were bizarre, for their differences in culture and dress, compared to the others, became too insistent and too strong.
The suggestion here is that the immigrant cultures of Paris have made strange the majority ethnic culture of France. The French language has, of course, always been seen as the route by which colonial assimilation would be achieved. By writing in French, the language of the former colonizer, and at the same time twisting that same French to reflect the multi-faceted reality of the formerly colonized, Beyala shows that, despite resistance from both sides, cultural interference is a two-way process and thus the responsibility for cultural and linguistic translation is shared. They are what they are, neither Whites nor Blacks, sort of cultural transexuals, vaguely businessmen, slightly loutish and basically undesirable.
I was no longer sure, in fact, that I was a woman! Alec Hargreaves writes: Most immigrants of Third World origin come from countries where even formal equality does not exist: power is vested primarily in the father, whose authority extends over most decision-making areas and who generally serves as the breadwinner while the mother attends primarily to domestic tasks.
Abdou returns from prison apparently transformed. Whereas, before his incarceration, he encapsulated the racist stereotype of the black African immigrant male — dishonest, sexually voracious, polygamous and physically violent — on his release from prison he is presented as a radically different man. Having lost his job, Abdou claims to now be happy working for his wife.
Through the eyes of Loukoum, however, Abdou is presented as emasculated. Whereas in Le petit prince de Belleville, Abdou was portrayed as a man to be feared, in the sequel Loukoum describes his father sobbing, spitting and suffering from bulimia. Metaphorically, her education becomes her passport to France. In her village in Cameroon, however, education for women is viewed with suspicion.
Similarly, in Maman a un amant, literacy is presented as a means for migrants to overcome barriers and gain entry into majority ethnic culture.
Accept this preference for learning how to read and write. A privilege, deported into cultural estrangement — in short, hell. Femme de personne. It was a dazzling act in which she surpassed herself. What pride she has in herself! A silent need to dig into the earth and find the meaning of things] MAA, p. Sexual relationships with white men are a form of metaphorical migration, which empower the women to reassess normative gender roles and to reassert themselves as women on their own terms.
Pas encore de mari. No children. No husband yet. But indestructible] p. Ce pays des blancs fait voir des miracles! This leads her neighbours to accuse her of behaving like a white woman p. When she talks of her impossible dreams of leaving her husband and becoming an actress, Soumana ends up weeping with frustration in the kitchen.
Whereas characters like Soumana and Abdou lose their way either permanently or temporarily on their migratory journeys, others characters cope much better.
From then on, the interest in my predictions found fertile ground] AA, pp. The relationships between people and their contextual societies and places are intimate ones which are transformed by movement. Adjustment processes may never be fully completed: indeed, since we all continually refine our self-identities throughout our life-course it may be more truthful to say that migration intervenes in that process of renegotiation as a lasting force, rather than as a single event. LAFC, p. Perhaps inevitably, it appears that Beyala is beginning to identify herself — and immigrants more generally — in terms of nationality rather than ethnicity.
Je ne pense pas. Je suis chez moi. Am I an immigrant, then? I am not an immigrant in France. I am at home here.
This is my land. I love it. Although, as outlined above, the term appears to privilege French over African, the hyphen also points to an identity that might be located somewhere in between.
This view was based on evidence from biological science in which hybrids are a cross between two different species, and are incapable of reproduction. The most common example of the hybrid is the mule, which is the sterile offspring of a horse and a donkey. In all but one of the five theories Young describes, sexual unions between different races are either infertile or lead to offspring that are in some way degenerated from their parents.
Secondly, and more commonly, Beyala produces fictional echoes of nineteenth-century genetics through the deaths of migrant women who become impossible hybrids. Here she is not suggesting that hybridity is in itself impossible or undesirable, but rather that conceiving of ethnic and cultural differences in essentialist terms prevents any kind of workable hybridity. In Africa they made us believe we were backward, and I believed it. I wanted to Frenchify myself, dig out every trace of black in me.
Because black is dirt. Black is destitution. Black is a curse. I hated myself for being African. I wanted to be like Dupond, Durand. It was ridiculous. For Sorraya, however, there is no value in African culture. She wants to become a dancer in Europe, she says, because in Africa people do not even know how to blow their noses properly.
Soumana wants to acculturate but, unlike Sorraya, lacks the economic means to gain entry to the cultural space of France. Despite the significant differences in their economic circumstances, what both Soumana and Sorraya have in common is the mistranslation of both their own gender identities and those of French women as essential and given. However, in terms of marketing and readership, this novel is very much a French, and more specifically Parisian, cultural product.