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  • 1 Université de Cergy Pontoise UFR des Lettres et Sciences Humanines, Département des Lettres Modernes Les chênes II, 33 Bd. du Port 95011 Cergy-Pontoise France
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It is not necessary to introduce Amin Maalouf, whose national and international reputation has been earned and well established over the past twenty years; his works have been translated into more than thirty languages. Focused onLes identités meurtrières, published in 1998, our article aims at pointing out where its strength lies. This essay appears as an essential contribution to the issue ofidentity which is common to literature as such but which emerges to an exceptionally high degree in francophone literatures. Clearly against the withdrawal attitude leading to shutting off a community from the rest of the world, Amin Maalouf pleads in favour of negotiation between, on the one hand, the sense of belonging as part of one’s identity and, on the other, the necessity of being part and parcel of modernity. He shows that personal construction and initiative are indeed very powerful antidotes against globalization, standardization of differences as well as contempt for so called “lesser cultures.” Thanks to a very clear expression and a convincing, “straight-to-the-point” line of argument, his essay constitutes a stimulating tool inspiring in-depth reflection and is widely studied in high schools and universities.