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Repetition of a Repetition: The Conquest of Algeria, and Louis Bertrand’s North African Latinité

Repetition of a Repetition: The Conquest of Algeria, and Louis Bertrand’s North African Latinité

Chapter:
(p.214) Eleven Repetition of a Repetition: The Conquest of Algeria, and Louis Bertrand’s North African Latinité
Source:
The Conquest of Ruins
Author(s):
Julia Hell
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226588223.003.0012

This chapter begins with a discussion of the French conquest of Algeria as a process that seeks to uncover the Muslim country’s Roman foundations. The author then shifts the focus to Louis Bertrand, the colonial author and radical-conservative critic of European modernity. Bertrand celebrated North African Latinité, and depicted the genesis of this idea as his epiphany in the ruins of Tipasa. The author foregrounds Bertrand’s definition of Muslims as the barbarian enemy and his theo-politics of Roman ruins. The chapter concludes with Bertrand’s proposal to resurrect Roman Carthage as France’s North African Rome by restructuring its ruined core. The author argues that Bertrand’s project of resurrecting Carthage as France’s “golden city” resonates with J. M. Turner’s depiction of the Carthaginian stage in The Decline of the Carthaginian Empire.

Keywords:   Louis Bertrand, Chateaubriand, North African Latinité, Muslim barbarian, barbarian as enemy, theo-political resurrection, Carthage resurrected, J. M. W. Turner, Stéphane Gsell, Alexis de Tocqueville

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