Berkane ou le déracinement dans l’hybridité identitaire

Mireille Rebeiz


This essay examines Berkane’s inability to get rooted in France and Algeria. What prevents Berkane, Assia Djebar’s main protagonist in La Disparition de la Langue Française, from finding home? Berkane has a problematic identity. Just like Kristeva, Berkane’s hybridity is a source of suffering; it’s the monster of all the crossroads. Far from being a harmonious blend, it creates chaos within. Imprisoned in the colonial past, Berkane is unable to comprehend the postcolonial present. Torn between France and Algeria, he can’t find ‘home’, a notion that seems fluid and impossible to define. Berkane embodies the dichotomous absent present, a ghost that floats between countries with no point of reference or spatio-temporal anchor. Drawing on a wide range of postcolonial theories, this essay studies Berkane’s problematic hybrid identity as it manifests itself on two different levels: the personal and the relational. His unaccepted hybridity turns him into an eternal wanderer.

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New Readings — ISSN: 13597485


Published by: Cardiff School of Modern Languages