Albert Memmi

Albert Memmi ( Arabic : ألبرت ميمي ; born December 15, 1920) is a French writer and essayist of Tunisian-Jewish origin.


Born in Tunis , in the French Tunisia , to a Tunisian Jewish mother, Marguerite Sarfati, and a Tunisian- Italian Jewish father, François Memmi, Albert Memmi, and Tunisian-Judeo-Arabic . He claims to be of Berber ancestry. During the Nazi occupation of Tunisia, Memmi was imprisoned in a forced labor camp from which he later escaped. [1]

Memmi was educated in French primary schools, and continued on to the high school Carnot in Tunis , the University of Algiers where he studied philosophy , and finally the Sorbonne in Paris . Albert Memmi found himself at the crossroads of three cultures, and based on the difficulty of finding a balance between East and West. [2]

Parallel with his literary work, he pursued a career as a teacher; first as a teacher at the Carnot high school in Tunis (1953) and later in France (where he remained after Tunisian independence) at the Practical School of Higher Studies, at the HEC High School in Paris and at the University of Nanterre (1970) .

Although he supported the independence movement in Tunisia, he was not able to find a place in the new state of the art. [3]


Memmi’s well-regarded first novel, The pillar of salt (translated as The Pillar of Salt ), Was published in 1953 with a preface by Albert Camus and Was Awarded the Fénéon Prize in 1954. [4] His other novels include Agar (translated as Strangers ), The Scorpion ( The Scorpion ), and The Desert ( The Desert ).

His best-known non-fiction work is The Colonizer and the Colonized , about the interdependent relationship of the two groups. It was published in 1957, a time when many national liberation movements were active. Jean-Paul Sartrewrote the preface. The work is read in conjunction Often with Frantz Fanon ‘s The Wretched of the Earth ( The Wretched of the Earth ) and Black Skin, White Masks ( Black Skin, White Masks ) and Aimé Césaire ‘s Discourse on Colonialism . In October 2006, Memmi’s follow-up to this work, entitled Decolonization and the Decolonized, was published. In this book, Memmi suggests that in the wake of global decolonization, the suffering of forming colonies can not be attributed to forming colonizers, but to the corrupt leaders and governments that control these states.

Memmi’s related sociological works include Dominated Man , Dependence , and Racism .

Sean P. Yesterday, in a review of Memmi’s Racism , calls it “well-written and autobiographically informed.” He writes that Memmi’s claim is that racism is a “lived experience” within human situations that only secondarily become “social experiences.” According to Yesterday, Memmi writes that racism is “endemic to collective human existence.” [5]

Memmi has also written extensively on Judaism , including Portrait of a Jew , Liberation of the Jews and Jews . Some of these books have been issued by Plunkett Lake Press in eBook form. [6]

He is also known for the Anthology of Maghrebian Literature (written in collaboration) published in 1965 (vol.1) and 1969 (vol.2).

Reviewing Memmi’s fiction, scholar Judith Roumani asserts that the Tunisian writer’s work “reveals the same philosophical evolution over time from its original viewpoints to the radical but perhaps more realistic positions.” She concludes that “his latest fiction is certainly more innovative and different than his earlier work.” [7]

In 1995, he said: “All of my work has been in my work, it should be understood, a constant revolt against my attachments; certain, has been an attempt at … reconciliation between the different parts of myself. ”

Wikiquote has quotations related to: Albert Memmi



  • Against currents . Paris: New Object, c1993. ISBN 2-84085-002-8
  • Oh, what happiness has happened to the exercise of happiness . Paris: Arléa : Broadcast Threshold, c1995. ISBN  2-86959-250-7
  • Albert Memmi: an interview with Robert Davies followed by Route of lived experience to the theory of domination . Montreal: Éditions L’Étincelle; distributor, Quebec Reissue, c1975.
  • Happiness: 52 weeks . Paris: Arléa, c1992. ISBN 2-86959-142-X
  • The drinker and the lover: the price of dependence . Paris: Arléa: Diffusion Threshold, c.1998. ISBN  2-86959-391-0
  • What I believe . Paris: B. Grasset, c1985. ISBN 2-246-31171-3
  • Dependence: sketch for a portrait of the addict . Paris: Gallimard, c.1979.
  • The desert: or, The life and adventures of Jubair Ouali El-Mammi . Paris: Gallimard, c1977.
  • Critical dictionary for the use of unbelievers . Paris: Kiron / Editions du Félin, c.2002. ISBN  2-86645-430-8
  • Colorful writing, or, I love you in red: essay on a new dimension of writing, color . Paris: Journey: Distribution Distique, c1986. ISBN  2-904549-03-X
  • Man dominated . Paris: Gallimard, 1968.
  • Man dominated; the black, the colonized, the proletarian, the Jew, the woman, the servant, racism . New ed. Paris: Payot, 1973. ISBN  2-228-32230-X
  • The individual facing his dependencies . Paris: Vuibert, c2005. ISBN  2-7117-6181-9
  • The Jew and the other . Etrepilly: C. de Bartillat, c1995. ISBN  2-84100-025-7
  • Jews and Arabs . Paris: Gallimard, 1974.
  • The motionless nomad: narrative . Paris: Arléa, c2000. ISBN 2-86959-521-2
  • The character of Jeha in the oral literature of Arabs and Jews . Jerusalem: Institute of Asian and African Studies, Hebrew University of Jerusalem [1974?]
  • Pharaoh: novel . Paris: Julliard, c1988. ISBN 2-260-00535-7
  • Portrait of the colonized, preceded by the portrait of the colonizer … Preface by Jean-Paul Sartre. Paris: Payot, 1973.
  • Portrait of the colonized, preceded by the portrait of the colonizer ; preface by Jean-Paul Sartre. Follow-up on Are French Canadians colonized? Ed. Rev. and corr. by the author. Montreal: L’Etincelle, 1972. ISBN  0-88515-018-X
  • Portrait of the colonized, preceded by a portrait of the colonizer: and a preface by Jean-Paul Sartre . Paris: Gallimard, c1985. ISBN  2-07-070550-1
  • Portrait of the decolonized Arab-Muslim and some others . Paris: Gallimard, c2004. ISBN 2-07-077110-5
  • Portrait of the decolonized Arab-Muslim and some others . Ed. Corr. and increase an afterword. Paris: Gallimard, c2004. ISBN  2-07-077377-9
  • Portrait of a Jew . Paris: Gallimard, 1962-66.
  • Racism: description, definition, treatment . Paris: Gallimard, c1982. ISBN 2-07-035461-X
  • Scorpio, or, The imaginary confession . Paris: Gallimard, 1969.
  • The salt statue , novel. Paris: Correa [1953].
  • The salt statue . Pref. Albert Camus. Ed. review and corr. Paris: Gallimard, 1966.
  • Teresa and other women: stories . Paris: Feline, c2004. ISBN 2-86645-568-1
  • The inner earth: interviews with Victor Malka . Paris: Gallimard, c1976.


  • The Colonizer and the Colonized . Introduction by Jean-Paul Sartre; afterword by Susan Gilson Miller; by Howard Greenfeld. Expanded ed. Boston: Beacon Press, c1991. ISBN  0-8070-0301-8
    • eBook version available. Plunkett Lake Press, 2013. ASIN  B00BRYDM3A [8]
  • Decolonization and the Decolonized . Translated by Robert Bononno. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, c2006. ISBN  0-8166-4734-8
  • Dependence: A Sketch for a Portrait . New York: Orion Press [1968].
  • Jews and Arabs . Translated from the French by Eleanor Levieux. Chicago: JP O’Hara, c1975. ISBN  0-87955-327-8 ISBN  0879553286
  • The Liberation of the Jew . Translated from the English by Judy Hyun. New York: Orion Press [1966].
    • eBook version available. Plunkett Lake Press, 2013. ASIN  B00B8XY5E0 [9]
  • The Pillar of Salt . Translated by Edouard Roditi. Boston: Beacon Press, 1992. ISBN  0-8070-8327-5
  • The Pillar of Salt . Chicago: JP O’Hara, [1975] c1955. ISBN  0-87955-907-1
    • eBook version available. Plunkett Lake Press, 2013. ASIN  B00D50BA7E [10]
  • Portrait of a Jew . Translated from the French by Elisabeth Abbott. New York: Orion Press [1962]
    • eBook version available. Plunkett Lake Press, 2013. ASIN  B00B8XY1JO [11]
  • Racism . Steve Martinot. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, c2000. ISBN  0-8166-3164-6
  • The Scorpion, or, The Imaginary Confession . Translated from the French by Eleanor Levieux. New York: Grossman, 1971. 0670622710
  • Strangers . Translated from the French by Brian Rhys. New York: Orion Press [1960]


  • Yehudim Ve-Arvim , translated by Aharon Amir , Sifriyat Hapo’alim , [1975]
  • Neziv Hamelach , translated by Yosef Luz, Sifria La’am-Am Oved, [1960]

External links

  • Albert Memmi at Internet Archive
  • An article on Memmi’s work


  1. Jump up^ “The Colonizer and the Colonized,” back cover material
  2. Jump up^ Kabanda, Theophist. “The Permanence of Exile in the Francophone novel.” New French studies. 1:24, 2009.
  3. Jump up^ Martinot, Introduction to “Racism,” at xvi
  4. Jump up^ Brennan, Carol,”Memmi, Albert 1920-“, Contemporary Black Biography.
  5. Jump up^ Yesterday, Sean P. (2001). “Racism”. Canadian Journal of Sociology . 26(1): 127.
  6. Jump up^ Memmi. “Albert” . Plunkett Lake Press .
  7. Jump up^ Bouraoui, Hedi (1989). “Albert Memmi by Judith Roumani”. Research in African Literature: Special Issue on African Fiction . 20 (1): 126-127.
  8. Jump up^ “The Colonizer and the Colonized” . Plunkett Lake Press .
  9. Jump up^ “The Liberation of the Jew” . Plunkett Lake Press .
  10. Jump up^ “The Pillar of Salt” . Plunkett Lake Press .
  11. Jump up^ “Portrait of a Jew” . Plunkett Lake Press .

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