Title

Terrorism Unmasked: Yasmina Khadra's Les agneaux du Seigneur

Subject Area

French and Francophone Studies

Abstract

Yasmina Khadra is the pen name of Mohamed Moulessehoul, a former Algerian army officer. His identity and gender remained a mystery until revealed in 2001. He continues to publish his works under the pseudonym, and has established himself as one of the best-selling French language novelists in the world.

Les agneaux du Seigneur (In the Name of God) was first published in Paris (Editions Julliard) in 1998, and is not as well known as his later successes such as L’Attentat (The Attack, 2006) and Ce que le jour doit à la nuit (What the Day owes the Night, 2009), which have won international acclaim.

This paper will examine the ways in which Khadra offers his readers an inside view of the impact of the events of Algeria’s Black Decade (1990’s) on the fictional village of Ghachimat. The villagers believe themselves immune from the horrors taking place in other parts of the country. Life seems peaceful enough, but there is much discontent seething beneath that bucolic façade.

Events take a sinister turn when a young radical is released from prison and returns to his hometown of Ghachimat. Khadra deftly portrays the radicalization of a region, and how otherwise peaceful individuals could evolve into a band of merciless killers.

The author offers more than a portrait in microcosm of the savagery visited upon much of his homeland during that dark period, events that he witnessed. The reader comes to understand that the terrorism that haunted Algeria was in fact a multi-faceted and all too human phenomenon; far too complicated for such a simplistic label as “Islamic extremism,” and little understood in the western world.

Brief Bio Note

Dr. David Vanderboegh is an assistant professor of French and Francophone Studies in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. His research interests are in Francophone Algerian literature, Eighteenth century French literature, and life writing.

Keywords

Algeria, Francophone, Yasmina Khadra, Terrorism

Location

Room 221

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-26-2015 3:00 PM

End Date

3-26-2015 4:15 PM

Embargo

5-23-2017

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Mar 26th, 3:00 PM Mar 26th, 4:15 PM

Terrorism Unmasked: Yasmina Khadra's Les agneaux du Seigneur

Room 221

Yasmina Khadra is the pen name of Mohamed Moulessehoul, a former Algerian army officer. His identity and gender remained a mystery until revealed in 2001. He continues to publish his works under the pseudonym, and has established himself as one of the best-selling French language novelists in the world.

Les agneaux du Seigneur (In the Name of God) was first published in Paris (Editions Julliard) in 1998, and is not as well known as his later successes such as L’Attentat (The Attack, 2006) and Ce que le jour doit à la nuit (What the Day owes the Night, 2009), which have won international acclaim.

This paper will examine the ways in which Khadra offers his readers an inside view of the impact of the events of Algeria’s Black Decade (1990’s) on the fictional village of Ghachimat. The villagers believe themselves immune from the horrors taking place in other parts of the country. Life seems peaceful enough, but there is much discontent seething beneath that bucolic façade.

Events take a sinister turn when a young radical is released from prison and returns to his hometown of Ghachimat. Khadra deftly portrays the radicalization of a region, and how otherwise peaceful individuals could evolve into a band of merciless killers.

The author offers more than a portrait in microcosm of the savagery visited upon much of his homeland during that dark period, events that he witnessed. The reader comes to understand that the terrorism that haunted Algeria was in fact a multi-faceted and all too human phenomenon; far too complicated for such a simplistic label as “Islamic extremism,” and little understood in the western world.