Abbas II, Khédive d’Égypte et Nubar Pacha Stratégies d’écriture de leurs Mémoires

Aly, R., Abbas II, Khédive d’Égypte et Nubar Pacha Stratégies d’écriture de leurs Mémoires, , Paris, L’Harmattan, 2014.


Away from the political scene, Abbas II in exile, Nubar retired, each one has written his memoirs to offer to the posterity their precious testimony in french, not only about their public life but also about Egypt’s vice-kings and about their time.
Nubar, this pacha of armenian origin, and who served all the vice-kings of Egypt since Mohamed Ali to Abbas II, insists in his memoirs on the projects which he defended the most and his won challenges over the years: the justice reform, the defense of the fellah’s rights, the rejection of the canal of Suez project, his opposition to the whims of Saïd and especially those of Ismaïl which have led Egypt to the bankruptcy.
Abbas II defends himself in front of the history, especially against his rival’s charges: Cromer, the general British consul published in Modern Egypt and in Abbas II. The Khedive highlighted his nationalist struggle that he led in several fields: political, educational, cultural fields in order to face the British occupation. He explains the evolution of his relation with the British generals from the discord policy under Cromer leadership to the agreement that began in 1907 after the Denchaway incident (1906).
This form of personal writing differs from its related forms (the diaries, the autobiography, the travel novels) by its mixed identity (historical, legal, political and aesthetic). This explains the variety of the strategies followed by the pacha and the Khedive in their memoirs: strategy of denial, of disqualification of the opponent, of the interpretation, the caution, etc. We study these texts focusing on the literary side which is usually marginalized in the benefit of their historical side.
The memoirs are weapons of the politician which give him free style due to their hybrid identity. The political memoirist multiplies his writing strategies to prove his credibility. He defends himself and makes his book a monument able to cross the centuries by both historical and aesthetic value. Despite the debate about the subjectivity of the memoirist and its relationship with writing the history, the historical value of Memoirs is undeniable. At the end of our study, we reclaim to insert the Memoirs in the education programs: a way among others to save this precious heritage from oblivion and give it its rightful place in the collective memory.