Der Arabische Frühling im algerischen Blick. Aus den Erfahrungen des algerischen Bürgerkriegs lernen. Literarisches Schaffen und intellektuelles Engagement bei Boualem Sansal und Maїssa Bey
The article chooses an unusual perspective on the Arab Spring by analyzing Algerian literature. Unlike its neighbouring countries, Algeria was not largely effected by the revolutionary changes in 2011. However, the country has a revolutionary past: it had its own “Algerian spring” in 1988, followed by a civil war in the 1990’s. This time gap allowed literature to reflect upon the consequences of such massive political and social changes. The article analyses two different literary approaches of this period of Algerian history – a novel and an essay – from well-known Algerian writers, Maїssa Bey and Boualem Sansal, with the intention to shed light upon the current developments within the region. The consequences of the Algerian civil war have been a social and political taboo for a long time. To include the topic in political or academic discussions, intellectuals recognized and emphasized the importance of literary works. In this context the article points out two literary functions: literature as a medium for cultural and collective memories and the literary potential to extend past the national and cultural boundaries in order to develop timeless and transcultural significance.