Marjolein van Tooren | De tweede-generatiemigrant als romantische held: het ‘geval’ Paul Smaïl en zijn roman Ali le Magnifique


Ever since Paul Smaïl started publishing his novels, literary critics wondered if there was a Frenchman hiding behind this name. Three years ago, Jack-Alain Léger revealed that he invented the writer, but without explaining why. Analysis of the three autobiographical novels of Smaïl and of his latest book, the controversial Ali le Magnifique, shows that Léger needed an outsider to phrase his merciless commentary on the ‘society of spectacle’ that forces the immigrants to play prefabricated roles. Therefore, he adopted the identity of a second generation immigrant and created a modern romantic hero, successor to Stendhal’s Julien Sorel.

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