Legal treatments of mixed marriage created a corporeal distinction between secular civil law and Muslim personal status. Muslim law was, nonetheless, also French and had been since 1834. The ambivalent location of Muslim law within the body of French law continued to raise pointed questions about Algerians’ standing as civil and political subjects. By the beginning of the twentieth century, these quandaries prompted new efforts at reform. Colonial jurists spearheaded a project to codify Muslim law in 1905, while young Algerian intellectuals and their metropolitan allies sought, beginning in 1908, to extend political rights to Algerian men in exchange for military service. In this chapter, I analyze how ideas about Muslim law’s sexual difference from the Civil Code played a central role in these debates. The discussions turned around concerns that we have traced throughout this book: forced marriage and polygamy. They illuminate how men’s sexual rights and imagined sexual pleasures continued to shape the idea and practice of Algerian colonial law into the twentieth century.
Previous chapters have shown how fantasies of Muslim pleasure structured the colonial relationship between French and Muslim law. Colonial clichés of child marriage and polygamy condensed imagined ideas of Muslim men’s excessive rights. Cast as foreign privileges that were intolerable in French civil law, these clichés evoked both fascination and repulsion. They worked in tandem at the turn of the century to simultaneously stimulate and stymie legal reform.
From the perspective of colonial jurists, Muslim men’s sexually different personal status explained and sustained their political and social exclusion. I suggest that this inside/outside construction of Muslim law in French law had a related psychic dimension. It relied on a fantasy of Muslim men’s access to forms of sexual pleasure that were denied to French male citizens. Jurists and politicians displayed ambivalence toward this excluded excess. In their accounts, legal and sexual discipline were constitutive of the superiority—and masculinity—of French citizenship and law. Their statements and writing nonetheless indicate how they simultaneously rejected and coveted the sexual rights that they attributed to Muslim men.
This apparently contradictory attitude can be illuminated by Lacanian accounts of the psychic effects of social law. These suggest how the seemingly universal structures of law (“the Symbolic”) are never fully universal or fixed: they always produce threatening residues that do not conform to hegemonic prescriptions. Apparently unrecognizable, these “extimate” transgressive remainders are at once feared and desired, foreign and familiar, as an unruly surplus that is simultaneously inside and outside the legal subject. Extimacy, as Jacques-Alain Miller notes, is thus “not the contrary of intimacy.” It instead describes how “the intimate is Other—like a foreign body, a parasite.”1 This “alien” kernel remains paradoxically fundamental, because, as Mladen Dolar explains, “this non-integration is constitutive for the subject, although it may appear as its limit, reduction, or failure.”2 Understanding the sexual privileges of Muslim men’s personal status as exti-mate projections helps to explain how they became so affectively as well as politically charged.
In protracted discussions of Algerians’ legal and political status, journalists, politicians, and magistrates fixated on sex, cynically deploying stereotypes to restrict Algerian Muslims’ legal and political rights. I elucidate why these charges were so tenacious and effective. I suggest how, taking displaced form, disavowed desires and pleasures expressed themselves through such fascination with Algerian men’s imagined difference and deviant pleasure. As Miller suggests, extimate jealousy animates such racist fantasies, including resentment of “our Islamic neighbor” that is “founded on what one imagines about the Other’s jouissance [enjoyment].”3 Such hostility evidently fueled politicians’ charges that Muslim men were inapt to exercise citizens’ rights. A 1914 speech made by Paul Cuttoli, a deputy from Constantine, displays the rhetorical and affective excess underlying such arguments. Citing jurist Émile Larcher, Cuttoli insisted that Algerians’ degraded bodies and morals disqualified them from citizenship: “The man is bestial. He shares with oriental peoples the practice of sodomy. He doesn’t respect children. Repeated circulars have forbidden the celebration of marriages with prepubescent wives, and despite that, the practice remains frequent. Women are unfaithful and there are entire tribes that continue to live off prostitution.” The adoption of French civil law, Cuttoli insisted, “disturbs natives in their divorce and polygamy.”4 An extimate kernel was at the heart of these claims. They illustrate how politicians’ and jurists’ articulation of the legal and sexual norm of French citizenship—and masculinity—came to rely on the imagined excesses of Muslim deviance and pleasure.
In this chapter, I elaborate on how these arguments against Muslim men’s sexual excess coalesced and how French-educated Algerian intellectuals, the so-called Young Algerians, critically responded to them.5 In pursuing their own reformist agenda, this assimilationist elite answered attacks on the supposed sexual rights preserved in Muslim family law. In newly founded newspapers, metropolitan journals, public and political speeches, these intellectuals offered a powerful critique of the status of Muslim law in French law. Foregrounding the denials on which politicians and jurists’ insistent claims about Muslim difference were based, they revealed the colonial repressions in French law. The young Tlemceni lawyer Taleb Abdesselem exemplified this critical stance. His life and writing pointed to the mutual imbrication of French and Muslim law in order to expose their extimate relation.
Portrait of a Young Algerian
Taleb Abdesselem was well positioned to dislodge the Orientalist legal fantasies of colonial jurists. Highly educated and from a prominent family, he studied at the Medersa Supérieur in Tlemcen and eventually received degrees from the Faculties of Letters and Law in Algiers. In 1912, he received a law doctorate in Paris with a timely thesis on the “financial organization of the Moroccan empire.” His early writing attacked Orientalist accounts of Eastern decadence and Muslim fanaticism, which in his view served as a pretext “to intervene in the internal affairs of the Orient in the name of protecting Christians.”6 He saw the lesser treatment of Muslims by Western powers as evidence of intolerance. The legal status of Muslims in Algeria exemplified that discrimination. Abdesselem thus decried the “pitiful” subordination of the Algerian Muslim who “is struck with a sort of capitis deminutio and does not have the honor of being considered as a citizen; he is only a subject.”7
Refusing this position of subjecthood for himself, Abdesselem petitioned for citizenship and went on to serve in the First World War as a military translator. After 1918, he launched a political career as municipal councilman in Tlemcen and eventually became a representative in the Algerian budgetary assembly, the délégations financières.8 Like other Young Algerians, he mobilized his wartime service to critique the persistent legal exclusion of Muslims from political rights. In his view, that marginalization was hypocritical, given that Muslim law was French law. He made the point forcefully in an article on personal status published in the journal L’Europe nouvelle, in which he explained all the ways in which Algerians were indeed legally French. He thus queried his presumptively “European” interlocutors: “Don’t Muslims conform to elements of the Civil Code? Isn’t what is regulated by Muslim personal status sanctioned by a French law, regulated by a decree (from 1886 to 1889) and executed by a functionary (qadi) named by the French government? Don’t courts of the first instance hear appeals of qadi court judgments? In obeying these decisions, don’t Muslims follow a French law?”9
Abdesselem had an acutely personal as well as political sense of this contradiction. After the war, he became embroiled in a dramatic family conflict over his marriage to Fatima Bouali, a sixteen-year-old from a prominent Tlemceni family. The passionate contest over their marriage would be settled by a decision of the Cour de cassation in 1923. The case clearly illustrated how Muslim law’s technical imbrication in French civil and procedural law had affectively charged as well as material effects. It made manifest the deeply felt ways in which personal status was politicized after the war, for French jurists and Algerian families alike.
Consternation over the union originated with Fatima Bouali’s family. While Fatima’s mother and maternal grandfather lent the union support, her half brother and legal executor Ahmed mobilized legal and, eventually, extralegal means in order to prevent it. While property interests were clearly in play, the legal arguments of the case focused on Fatima’s marital consent, when she took her brother to court in order to override his opposition. He claimed that their deceased father had promised Fatima to her cousin Abdallah in just exercise of his “right to force [djebr].” According to court documents, Ahmed’s contestation originated in the “grave complications entailed for his family by his sister’s marriage to a Muslim who had become French and who was now submitted to French law.”10 Because Abdesselem was a French citizen, this was a legally mixed union that required Fatima to assume her husband’s civil status. Her brothers worried that the new legal status would impact her (and hence their) property rights, effectively abolishing them.11
The qadi of Tlemcen became Fatima’s guardian (wālī) after her father’s death. While charged with protecting her interests, he sided with her brother and refused to assent to the marriage. Judging Ahmed’s opposition to be “purely abusive and vexatious,” the French tribunal authorized the union instead. It reduced the multiple personal and financial conflicts at play to the question of Fatima’s “formal will to marry [s’unir] Taleb Abdesselem.” It held that Fatima “clearly declared that she intended to marry Taleb Abdesselem only,” as evidenced by her appearance alone before the magistrates. Her “will to contract the marriage” was, the court confirmed, “formal and without contest.”12 Ahmed’s claim was judged legally irrelevant because only fathers, not brothers, could exercise marital constraint. When this route failed, her cousin Abdallah raised new objections based on a marital agreement notarized by the qadi of Tlemcen. Despite the new evidence, the Appeals Court upheld the lower court’s findings, affirming that because “Fatima was more than sixteen years old, and was both nubile and an orphan [i.e., fatherless], she could not be married without her consent, in conformity with Muslim law.”13 In authorizing the union, the court also granted her French civil status.
Out of apparent desperation, Ahmed and Abdallah attempted to assassinate Abdesselem on August 13, 1920. Remarkably, the young lawyer survived, despite being shot in the head. Pitting two prominent local families against one another, the affair created considerable consternation in Tlemcen. Leading Young Algerian press organs such as Ikdam lent Abdesselem their support, celebrating his return to health and politics in 1921.14 When the Cour de cassation moved the criminal trial from Tlemcen to Algiers in 1922 for security reasons, Algerian and metropolitan dailies began to report on what came to be called the “Drama of Tlemcen.”
Like Abdesselem, Abdallah had several advanced degrees. After graduating from the Tlemcen medersa, he was certified to work as a medical auxiliary in Sebdou, a commune close by. From there he had traveled to Tlemcen, sought out Abdesselem in town, and, gun ready, lay in wait (apparently hiding behind a tree). His motivation seemed to be calculated financial interest, although one settler newspaper also described “the hatred of the Muslim against one of his race who, in becoming naturalized, became a roumi [Christian/European].” Abdallah claimed to have acted spontaneously out of amorous passion, contending that it was “out of jealousy, that a superior force had taken hold of his arm.”15 The Bouali family’s reaction to Abdesselem seemed to reflect an extimate hatred: a violent jealousy of Fatima’s person and property. Her brother Ahmed had reportedly told her, “I could not tolerate that a stranger might be your husband and participate in our patrimony.” The prosecution believed that Ahmed had corralled Abdallah into committing the crime. The two accomplices were ultimately convicted to five years of prison for a “simple murder” attempt (i.e., voluntary, but not premeditated) as well as a fine of 15,000 francs in damages to be paid to Abdesselem.16
Both sides paid for prominent legal counsel. Ahmed and Abdallah hired a politician, Rodolphe Rey, who was a délegué financier and conseiller général. While opposed to Muslim “tradition” when it came to property matters, Rey defended Ahmed and Abdallah’s personal status. For Rey, the assimilationist Abdesselem was a far greater political threat than Fatima’s traditionalist kin. Writing in the Le Journal des débats, he excused the Bouali family’s exercise of patriarchal privilege and defended Abdallah: “From childhood she had been solemnly promised to him by her father who used in advance of his death the consecrated right of ‘djebr’ or paternal constraint.” He presented Abdesselem as a troublesome inter-loper “whose ambitious political calculations would destroy Abdallah’s happiness.” In the defense attorney’s account, Abdallah, far from being the aggressor, was the victim of the “Young Turk’s” calculations, while Fatima was his “passive, entirely dominated” pawn.17
In a lengthy response, Abdesselem claimed the mantle of French patriotism, noting his wartime service as well as that of three brothers, several cousins, and nephews.18 Underscoring the legality of his union, he paraphrased the decision of the Appeals Court of Algiers in their favor: Fatima “had the right to choose her husband and she could pronounce her choice in full liberty.” In his view, Fatima’s brother and cousin had manipulated the case in order to stir up political opposition to him, pronouncing “sermons in small mosques against voting for me, the ‘Roumi’ (the abjurer/Christian/renégat).”19 The Bouali family’s efforts were unsuccessful: Abdesselem won reelection to the Conseil municipal and Conseil général. While he continued his political career, the Bouali family pursued its appeal.
Suspicion of French civil law did not prevent Ahmed and Abdallah from bringing the case before the highest French court in order to contest its civil jurisdiction over Fatima. In this sense, they upheld Muslim law as part of the system of French law. In their view, because Fatima was Muslim, only a qadi could determine the validity of her marriage to Abdallah. Indeed, the 1889 decree on judicial organization had guaranteed indigenous law jurisdiction for matters of “personal status,” inheritance, and those land transactions not encompassed by the 1873 Warnier Law.20 The court had to decide whether the Appeals Court of Algiers had overstepped its jurisdiction by allowing Fatima and Abdesselem’s marriage to proceed. The counselor Paul Auguste Fabry rejected the Bouali’s argument, urging that it was “inadmissible” to subordinate a civil tribunal to an “exceptional jurisdiction” (i.e., the qadi of Tlemcen). The Cour de cassation ultimately agreed, holding that “in Algeria, the qadi constitutes with respect to Muslim indigènes, an exceptional jurisdiction whose competency ceases as soon as French law applied.”21 Fabry presented the inadmissibility of Muslim law in distinctly impassioned terms; the decision described Fatima’s promised marriage to Abdallah as tantamount to sexual violation. She “could no longer be forced by a legal decision to give herself over [se livrer] to a man that she rejects [repousse] as a husband and who tried to kill the spouse that she had chosen, the father of her child.”22 The defense upheld both Abdesselem and Fatima’s rights: “the right of a French citizen to freely choose his spouse” and “the right of a Muslim woman to acquire French nationality by marrying a French man.”23 Their marital freedom illustrated the superiority—and, indeed, desirability—of French civil law.
For the Cour de cassation, the legal stakes were clear: Muslim jurisdictions should not trump civil ones, even though both were, in fact, French law. In the case of this mixed marriage, Fatima’s “right” to marry personified this principle, legitimating the subordination of Algerian Muslim law. This line of legal argument evidently obscured the patriarchal logic of what French law compelled in article 12 of the Civil Code: that women assume their husbands’ French civil status. The court focused instead on the extimate patriarchy of Muslim law and Fatima’s marital choice.
In his plea for Fatima, Fabry urged the court to “end the long intrigues that aimed, without the least legal motive, to prevent a Muslim woman from becoming French as a result of her marriage.” The Cour de cassation concurred, proclaiming that “the exercise of this right conferred by French law on the femme indigène cannot depend on Muslim jurisdiction.”24 From its vantage, the core question in the case was Fatima’s desire to be married in (and to) French law. If French civil law was a guardian and, indeed, desirable object of women’s marital choice, Muslim law appeared, by contrast, as a repository of illegitimate patriarchal privilege.
While Abdesselem succeeded in his marriage case, his political efforts would be stymied by these same arguments. When he proposed to the Conseil général of Oran in 1920 that “Muslim French” be allowed to select parliamentary representatives, Counselor Germain Sabatier forcefully rejected the plea. Sabatier, a lawyer and longtime mayor of Tlemcen, had long used legal arguments to resist “assimilationism,” describing in a previous work how “the Muslim family is different from the French family in every way.” In his view, the “characteristic divergences in the organization of the family, alongside religious antagonism, sufficiently demonstrate that it remains chimerical to dream of assimilation.”25 Sabatier made nearly identical arguments in response to Abdesselem’s proposal, and cruelly used evidence from Abdesselem’s case against him, lamenting the case of “a young girl of seventeen who had been refused the right to marry following her heart.” Sabatier asked his fellow council members, “Would you allow natives who have maintained polygamy, who protested when it was a question of abolition of the droit de djebr, of matrimonial constraint, to collaborate on the making of laws that organize the French family”? For Sabatier, it was unthinkable that “the sons of the French Revolution, which affirmed the equality of the sexes,” could allow “these men to impose on us a regime that we do not want.”26 This condemnation of Muslim patriarchy evidently obscured both the past and present-day gender inequalities in French civil and political law.
Abdesselem understood the obfuscation. While he secured his marriage in French civil court, he also argued forcefully against the fantasy of Muslim patriarchy on which the court’s decision, drawn out in Sabatier’s arguments, was based. Schooled in both legal traditions, he promoted a more nuanced account of the relationship between Muslim and French civil law. In a 1918 speech, “Islam and the Allied Cause,” Abdesselem illustrated his critical awareness of reigning Orientalist accounts of Muslim men’s sexual rights. Appearing before a local student association in Rennes, where he was stationed, he urged his listeners not to “imagine that Muslim men marry as many women as they please, submitting them to a life of martyrdom or repudiating them at will.”27 In order to refute distorted accounts of “the Muslim woman,” he highlighted how Qur’anic principles made women’s status “equal to that of man, in granting her the power to dispose of property as she wishes and allowing her to appear in court on her own behalf.” He used the argument to answer disingenuous claims about French women’s superior status:
I will allow myself to recall that no legislation in Europe yet grants this right to women, despite all the appearances of liberalism that animates these laws. French women, like their sisters, are struck, under any property regime, with the “capitis deminutio” and are, for all their acts, dependent on their husbands. Neither their grace, nor their charm, nor the lively intelligence that is their gift, has helped them to obtain—like Muslims—civil equality in order to obtain the political equality about which they dream.28
Pointing to the political limits of what Joan Scott has described as “French seduction theory,” Abdesselem made clear that French women had no advantages over Muslim women when it came either to matters of property or political rights.29 In highlighting French women’s legal subordination, Abdesselem noted their ironic resemblance to Algerian men.
Abdesselem was, however, critical of polygamy. He acknowledged the Qur’anic acceptance of the practice, while highlighting “the harsh prescriptions added by the law itself, which make this tolerance impossible.” Like many of his contemporaries, he claimed that the normative injunction to absolutely equitable treatment of multiple wives made it unethical in practice. What is more, he asserted that “legendary ‘harems’ no longer exist, at least in North Africa, except in the more or less novelistic [romanesque] fantasies of poets and tourists.”30 In his view, the preoccupation with polygamy was principally an extimate projection of heated European imaginations. His speeches and writings instead aimed to “dissipate the prejudices that exist against us,” so that Muslim French subjects could gain their “droit de cité.”
Skeptical responses to Abdesselem’s speech illustrate the extent of this prejudice and its persistent fascination with Muslim men’s sexual privileges. One letter writer highlighted the “moving calls of distress that are sometimes heard by French women who become Muslim wives and even by Muslim women whose eyes have been opened and have become conscious of their condition.”31 Another questioned Abdesselem’s ability to act as “an impartial psychologist of the feminine condition” and reiterated clichéd images of the harem as a “golden prison.”32
Young Algerians like Abdesselem commented on these conscious and unconscious contemporary fantasies about Muslim sex precisely because they recognized their political power. More specifically, they understood that French officials’ fixation on marital constraint and polygamy were symptoms of French legal disavowal. As Abdesselem later explained, “In order to clear away [dégager] their responsibility for this state of affairs, Europeans pretend that their distance from Muslims is caused by the latter’s religion and the idea that they have of woman and marriage. But this is a tendentious argument [procès de tendance].” “Enslaved to their old habits,” the French maintained an extimate idea of “Muslim law” in order “to satisfy their prejudice.”33
As Abdesselem’s own marriage trial showed, arguments that French law freed Muslim women from patriarchal constraint maintained legal force, despite his own and others’ efforts to challenge those claims.
As we saw in chapter 4, proposals to reform Muslim personal status began to take shape at the end of the nineteenth century in controversies over the droit de djebr.34 Colonial jurists regularly called for reform in the name of girls’ and women’s liberation from a patriarchal Muslim law. Casting prepubescent marriage (which they equated with sexual consummation) as a violation of both children and law, their accounts focused on the moral horror of rape. They linked legal progress to proper child development, while representing Muslim law as unnatural and backward. This extimate, sexualized horror sustained an evolutionary legal logic that structured arguments about codification reform.35
While colonial jurists cited contemporary projects in Egypt and Tunisia when devising their new Algerian codes, their reforms had French jurists in mind. A judge in Constantine, Edmond Norès, tellingly conceded that his 1903 draft code had “nothing ‘Muslim’ about it.” As he explained, it “is purely artificial, but it has this very serious practical advantage of recalling to the reader a familiar classification thus facilitating consultation.”36 Combining sources from the Qur’an and handbooks of fiqh with metropolitan legislation, the text, which followed the structure of the French Civil Code, was designed for jurists who applied “Algerian Muslim law” but had virtually no knowledge of Islamic jurisprudence.
Influenced by Norès’s text, the colon section of the délégations financières voted on a project to codify Muslim law in 1904.37 Their colonial state fantasy of codification sought “a veritable code, with simple, easily interpreted rules and precise articles.”38 It aimed, in particular, at “simplifying property questions.”39 In response, Governor-General Charles Jonnart created a commission to survey the opinions of experts and officials, including prefects, medersa directors, judges and lawyers, qadis, and juges de paix. Its initial work cataloged responses to the proposed reform, reported on the findings, and outlined “Book One” of the Personal Status section, which, following the Civil Code, was devoted to marriage.40 While the délégations had focused on property, the commission began with marriage reform.
The prefects of the departments of Alger, Constantine, and Oran treated codification as a police measure to promote transparency, facilitate the surveillance of Muslim justices, and, as the prefect of Oran noted, “make the application of Muslim law easier for young magistrates who come from the Metropole and are unfamiliar with the subtleties of interpreting the Qur’an.”41 Some jurists, like Paul de Lalagade, a public prosecutor from Mascara, underscored the need to align French and Muslim law, calling for the elimination of conflicts related to women and children’s rights. For Lalagade, “The rules related to inheritance, testimonial proof, and those concerning marriage, the age of puberty, women’s consent, should all be categorically repealed where they contradict our law and institutions. In a code written and promulgated by France, one must not find principles that are so clearly opposed to the fundamental rules of the rights of man and such restrictions of individual liberty.”42 This strong claim for the ethical as well as political import of the reform was featured in the commission’s summary report, which highlighted the need to eliminate Muslim law’s “antiquated and inhuman institutions.”43 This moralizing injunction focused on Muslim law’s extimate sexual difference.
Muslim magistrates were, meanwhile, wary of the proposed changes and the broader project to transform their jurist-centered law into a form of positive law. They contended that Khalil ibn Ishâq’s Mukhtasar, a fourteenth-century reference handbook of the Maliki rite, was a more than adequate compendium. As a group of qadis and their deputies (bachadels) from Batna pointed out, French ignorance, not textual inexactitude, was the true source of colonial jurists’ confusion. Affirming their own expertise, they explained that “Muslim law” was “very clear and very precise for anyone who knows the jurisprudence, in particular, those qadis charged with ruling on cases between Muslims.”44 Muslim jurists’ reactions were nonetheless split between allegiance to an administration on which their jobs depended and bids for jurisdictional autonomy. Striking something of a balance, the qadis of Algiers confirmed that it would be good “to end fluctuations in Muslim jurisprudence and to fix it according to uniform rules,” but endorsed following Khalil or his later interpreter, Cheikh Edderdir, rather than an entirely new code.45 In the end, of the eighty-seven Muslim jurists who responded, forty-two were in favor, forty-three opposed.46 Despite these divided opinions, law faculty professor Marcel Morand, who was overseeing the codification project, called for “modernization.”47
Morand’s project was influenced by the Orientalist scholar and inspector general of medersas, Octave Houdas, who argued that because Khalil’s text was not sacred, it could easily be reordered along the lines of the Civil Code. Pursuing the project would, he claimed, help to cleave religious principles from the dictates of a secular civil law.48 For Houdas, the recent evolution of the “Muslim family” had already demonstrated such modernizing and secularizing transformation. Muslims’ contact with—and indeed destitution by—Europeans had induced polygamy’s decline. And, in his view, because “impoverishment had introduced monogamy in a generalized way into mœurs, it should, without difficulty, be made obligatory in civil law, without religion really suffering.”49 This secularizing vision informed the drafting of the code.50
Morand’s own account of Algerian society and law also followed an evolutionary framework that borrowed from ethnographer Charles Letourneau and the British colonial jurist Henry Sumner Maine. Morand claimed that what he called “the Muslim family” had “undergone, in a manner of speaking, neither modification, nor transformation.” By contrast, the modern family was supposedly marked by an evolution and implicit spiritualization, becoming “more and more concentrated, folded in on itself” over time and increasingly “animated by a purely internal life.”51 For Morand, Muslims remained “fundamentally attached to the old idea of sexual inequality as well as their crude conception of marriage,” which explained why their “family law” had not evolved. Treating marriage as a sale and “fundamentally polygamous,” it was based on patriarchal prerogatives that had, he claimed, been written out of modern French family law.52 Morand’s juxtaposition effectively effaced French women’s subordinate legal and political status, claiming that among “modern people,” women had gained rights equal to men “in one of the most important acts in life, marriage” and “in the family.”53
These arguments underwrote Morand’s claim that the “Muslim family” would evolve as a result of external, and implicitly French, influence. He pointed to Egyptian and Turkish projects of codification as proof of such contemporary transformations. In fact, the French Civil Code was a formative model for Muhammed Qadri’s unofficial code of Egyptian “personal status” law, which was first published in 1875 for use by the Mixed Courts. In the echo chamber of Morand’s argument, this Egyptian compendium became a legitimating reference for “Algerian Muslim law.”54
Casting “the family” as a universal category filled with particular content, Morand’s analysis made invidious comparisons between Muslim family law and the Civil Code possible.55 While he fixated on family law difference, he strongly opposed the codification of Muslim real estate law (statut réel), because “doing so would give those laws a fixed and durable character that it is undesirable to see them acquire.”56 Morand believed that property law, unlike family law, should remain dynamic and mobile, and hence uncodified. By contrast, because the “Muslim family” had been static, codification would, paradoxically, serve to modernize it.
Adopting the plan of the Civil Code, the commission first turned to marital capacity and consent. Handily citing the already existing Egyptian Code elaborated by Qadri, Morand encouraged the adoption of Hanafischool principles on marital constraint and consent.57 The first seven proposed articles established “puberty” and “manifest consent” as requirements, fixing puberty to chronological age: eighteen for men, fifteen for women. Referencing articles 51 and 53 of the Egyptian Code, article 5 affirmed “there is no marriage without the consent of future partners.”58 Departing from Maliki principles, there was no explicit provision for fathers to oversee the unions of their prepubescent daughters, although article 7 established that “legal representatives” would “complete” consent for those not yet twenty-one. Formally and ideologically, the proposed code foregrounded women’s marital consent.
These provisions received pointed criticism from many qadis, who claimed that the text departed from orthodox jurisprudence. Quite a few asserted that “the marriage of prepubescents is admitted by all four orthodox rites.”59 An extensive commentary by the qadi of Tlemcen underscored the Maliki rite’s provision for a father’s authority over virgins, no matter their age.60 The qadi of Médéa warned reformers to be wary of the sensational trials reprinted in the colonial press. “You should not,” he wrote, “allow yourself to be moved because you have learned of certain young girls who have addressed the courts, declaring that they do not accept the husband chosen by their father.” In his view, these girls were “profoundly ignorant” and could not be trusted to know their own interests.61 Fueling contestation over the very issues that it sought to fix, this official survey made marital age and agency into a litmus test for the authenticity, acceptability, and modernity of the reformed code.
The commission ultimately ignored the Muslim jurists’ critical responses. It did, however, revise article 7’s provisions for parental assent upward, in order to conform not to Muslim law, but to French law. A recent natalist reform of the Civil Code had reduced marital majority to age twenty-one (from twenty-five for women, and thirty for men), while maintaining parents’ rights of marital consent.62 Despite this recent restriction of French parental authority, magistrates were shocked by the liberality of the proposed Muslim Code. In their view, the negligible role allotted to legal guardians by the project was “excessive in comparison to French law.” They worried over the dangerous consequences of girls’ liberty: “The Arab girl, absolutely subject to paternal authority, will accede at fifteen, if she is free to dispose of her property, to the most complete freedom, a freedom that is refused to the young French girl.”63 In order to scale back that freedom, they modified the article, extending legal guardians a right to consent to marriages up to age twenty-five. The discussion clearly demonstrated how French jurists remained attached to the patriarchal assumptions inscribed within their own legal code, even as they denounced the purported excesses of Muslim law.
Some Muslim jurists heralded the reform as salutary. For example, Aboubekr Abdesselem ben Choaïb, a student of the Algiers law faculty and professor at the medersa of Tlemcen, defended the proposed code in the Revue du monde musulman. Ben Choaïb’s views fit the vision of evolving Muslim modernity prominent in the journal, founded under the auspices of Alfred Le Chatelier, the new chair in Muslim sociology at the Collège de France.64 An author of diverse texts on the philosophy of Muslim law, Islamic jurisprudential argument, and ethnographic studies of customary law, ben Choaïb defended the project’s orthodoxy, basing his argument not only on Qur’anic reference, but also on analogy (qiås) and independent legal reasoning (ijtihad).65
Because matters of marriage and sex emerged as an important index of the proposed code’s authenticity, Ben Choaïb answered fellow Muslim jurists’ concerns. He suggested that, in imposing age limits, “the members of the commission have only done their duty in putting a stop to these precocious unions that have had such unspeakable results.” In his view, the commission’s text was “in conformity not only with equality” but also with “the ideas of the Muslim legislator himself.”66
While some Muslim jurists like Ben Choaïb praised the project, some prominent French jurists rejected it. The most notable was Émile Larcher, Morand’s law school colleague and editor of the Revue algérienne et tunisienne de jurisprudence. In stark contrast to Morand, Larcher claimed that codification would exacerbate legal conflict and halt rather than promote jurisprudential evolution. Close to colonial legal pedagogical and publishing institutions, Larcher also criticized the excesses and irregularities of Algerian law. A member of the association for the Progressive Assimilation of Algeria to France, he condemned the legal anomalies, or what he referred to as “bizarreries,” of French rule in Algeria, including the excesses of its exceptional penal law.67 In his view, the danger of codification lay in creating “another obstacle to the evolution of natives toward our civilization.”68 He used marital compulsion as a case in point: “With codification, will we maintain all the institutions of Muslim law, notably the droit de djebr, the marriage of prepubescents? If yes, isn’t there a disadvantage to consecrating these institutions? If not, won’t we be attacking the sénatus-consulte which guarantees the natives’ personal status?” From Larcher’s assimilationist standpoint, codification risked making Muslim law more resistant to change.69
Answering Larcher’s criticisms directly, Morand explained that marital constraint could not “have a place in a code written by a European power.”70 Further, he did not believe that codification would make Muslim law more inflexible, precisely because he viewed codification as a force for modernization. Appealing to the precedents set by the Egyptian and Ottoman codes, he claimed in his preliminary report that “it is in Turkey and in Egypt, which is to say in two Muslim countries and under the order of Muslim sovereigns…that the first attempts at codifying Muslim law have been made.”71 Morand’s gesture here reversed logics of colonial mimicry: he claimed to be imitating Egyptian and Ottoman modernization, in order to prove that a code “written by a European power” had Islamic authenticity. He used these examples to underwrite an “Algerian Muslim law” for the French imperial state.
Morand’s code was published as a “preparatory project” in 1916, although its status remained uncertain. Governor-General Jonnart tried to adopt it by decree in 1909. But the project met with resistance. In a letter to President Georges Clemenceau, the liberal deputy of the Haute-Marne, Albin Rozet, questioned the code’s legality and, like Larcher, worried that it “pour[ed] into a rigid mold the still uncertain and controversial rules of custom.”72 A decade later, Jonnart relaunched the proposal. His explanatory letter emphasized that “marriage is one of the institutions that, in the practice of Muslim legislation in Algeria, gives rise to the worst abuses.” Noting how Morand’s code fixed marriage age and consent, Jonnart declared it to be “a notable improvement in the juridical condition of the weakest of the Muslim Algerian population.”73 This and subsequent efforts at adoption again ran up against marital consent as an obstacle.74 The Morand Code nonetheless functioned as if it were official. As one author noted, this “rejuvenated, vivified, and modernized” code became, by 1920, the “bedtime reading of Algerian jurisdictions.”75
The droit de djebr remained, in French eyes, an excessive patriarchal prerogative that civilized law had supposedly overcome; its reform underwrote the proposed code’s legitimacy. Colonial jurists elaborated an evolutionary narrative of Algerian legal reform in which uncodified Muslim law appeared to be at once backward and unnatural because of its improper management of the girl child’s sexual development. By fixating on the imagined excess of child marriage, colonial jurists displaced their own ongoing investment in patriarchal control over women’s personhood and property onto an extimate fantasy of Muslim law.
While the outbreak of war in Europe stalled Morand’s codification project, it spurred the efforts at political reform launched by Young Algerians and their allies to link their political demands to conscription. In the previous decade, reform-ist advocates’ early initiatives had faced considerable opposition. When Deputy Adolphe Messimy (Seine) first proposed to open military service to Algerians in 1907, settler politicians in parliament met the idea with virulent disapproval. Traditionalist members of the “Arab sections” of Algerian local government also voiced opposition, claiming that their Muslim legal status shielded them from conscription. Some Algerians penned petitions and protested in towns, including Rovigo, Arba, and Touka, which in turn further fueled settler opposition.76 By contrast, assimilationist lawyers and jurists such as Ben Ali Fekar and Ahmed Bouderba supported the measure on condition that it would give way to legal and political reform. They organized local meetings, published articles in journals such as Rachidi (The Guide), and met with Georges Clemenceau in the fall of 1908 to plead their case.77 These demands worried settler politicians and their supporters. One journalist from Orléansville explained that an excess of “sentimentalism” would lead the parliament to “impose on our Muslim subjects the political rights that would make them pass from the condition of subject to that of citizen.”78 The recruitment of Algerian soldiers further represented a political and martial threat to French masculinity, pointing to the deficiency of French troop numbers and a perceived decline in French men.
Articles in the popular as well as the colonial juridical press evinced responses that mixed sexual jealousy with moral horror. Marcel Savoyant, who would go on to receive his law doctorate in Algiers, exemplified this extimate reaction. He castigated Algerians’ libidinal investment in their law: “Our subjects have the exceptional freedom to practice polygamy, to buy or sell their wives and daughters, to marry before puberty or nubility, to exercise marital constraint, to divorce freely [par consentement mutuel].” The sexual benefits of their Muslim rights explained their refusal of civil and political assimilation. They were, that is, “too attached to maintaining their personal status to prefer the quality of French citizenship.”79 Given how such exceptional sexual privileges were denied to French men, granting Algerian Muslim men political rights was unthinkable. Doing so would be, for Savoyant, an inversion of colonial legal, social, and sexual hierarchy.
Critics used charges against Algerian men’s sexual privilege to question the Young Algerians’ motives. In efforts to cast doubt on their patriotism, opponents represented the assimilationist elite as scheming and disingenuous (as we have seen in the case of Taleb Abdesselem). Camille Brunel, a former government land surveyor and author of an influential work on the 1901 Margueritte Revolt, mobilized these claims against Messimy’s conscription plan. Speaking to the French Colonial League, he presented “the Arab” as “our moral antipode,” including “from a physical point of view.” He suggested that “more than ever attached to their traditions,” the “literate” elite was no exception. Brunel thus cautioned that when they spoke of assimilation, it “really means our absorption.” These political anxieties were suffused with sexual jealousy and resentment, as Brunel’s extimate reflections on mixed marriage made clear: “We can immediately see the consequences: the Muslims who approach us—and especially the urban ones—hasten to take our girls, while refusing us their own; they continue to visit our houses, while forbidding us to enter their foyer: in this way, they place us, Frenchmen of origin, in a position of moral and social inferiority, while waiting to absorb us. In believing that we are granting equality, haven’t we pronounced our own destitution [déchéance]?”80 Brunel’s fantasy of reverse colonization resonates with the pervasive anxieties that, as we saw in chapter 6, had long preoccupied colonial jurists. His comments make the political and psychic resonance of those legal concerns clear: Muslim men’s presumptive sexual privileges, including over French women, were both enviable and degrading to French men.
New pressures on the French army due to the Moroccan crisis in 1911 led to a February 3, 1912, decree that established obligatory military service for Algerians. Seizing on this opportunity, a delegation of Young Algerians met with President Raymond Poincaré to demand, in exchange, “a serious and sufficient political representation in the Assemblies of Algeria and the Metropole.”81 While the government made several concessions, including the exemption of veterans from the indigénat and repressive tribunals, the question of Algerian men’s access to political rights remained unresolved. Throughout, the specter of the “polygamous citizen” haunted these discussions.
In an effort to answer these fears, assimilationist reformers sought to clarify that polygamy was more a tolerated practice than a legal “right.” Army translator Ismaël Hamet endorsed “the elasticity of Islamic law.” Expressing optimism regarding Algerians’ evolution, he suggested that polygamy was destined to fade away along with the “social and economic necessities” that had given rise to it.82 Polygamy had declined since the late nineteenth century, not least because of the economic and social devastation wrought by colonization. According to official statistics, only 6.4 percent of a population of about five million Algerians lived in polygamous households in 1911.83 But these feeble statistics did nothing to counter the symbolic weight that jurists and politicians gave Muslim Algerian men’s “right” to have up to four wives.
Some jurists already accepted the idea of the polygamous citizen, as long as he remained at a territorial and psychic distance from the metropole. In response to a 1912 survey on naturalization by the Revue indigène, Robert Doucet and Numa Léal wondered “how it could disturb us if, in Algeria or in Tunisia, a French Muslim (Français-Musulman) continues to marry one or several wives.”84 Bordeaux jurist Charles de Boeck likewise assented to the prospect of “polygamous French citizens” if they were “separated from the Metropole by the Mediterranean.”85 While presuming an underlying sexual conflict between French civil and Muslim law, these advocates territorialized it by placing Algeria and Algerians at a distant remove.
Algerian legal treatises and press organs were less emotionally detached. They refused to have as their neighbors full citizens with different sexual rights. In response to the Revue indigène’s survey, the law faculty graduate and Cour d’Alger lawyer Amédée Rinderhagen exclaimed: “Can one conceive of a polygamous French citizen who has the right to repudiate his wife on a whim and demand from her a ransom to give her back her freedom?”86 In a legal dissertation on Algerian conscription, Achille Sèbe likewise argued, citing the parliamentary discussion of the 1865 sénatus-consulte, that it was unthinkable in a “democratic regime” that “what is permitted for some be forbidden to others.”87 In the projective identification of these critics, the virtues of citizenship paled in comparison to the sexual privileges of personal status. “These natives,” wrote Deputy Émile Broussais (Alger), “refuse naturalization in order to keep their personal status—which maintains for them polygamy and the enslavement of women.”88 For adversaries of Algerian political rights, the polygamous citizen inspired jealousy and horror.
Liberty, Equality, Polygamy?
During the course of the war, as Algerian soldiers were being conscripted, liberal politicians elaborated several different projects extending citizenship to a limited number of “qualified” Algerians. In one proposition, Deputies Georges Boussenot and Ernest Outrey suggested that the wives of polygamous men could be given “putative” status under French civil law.89 Georges Clemenceau and Georges Leygues, who headed the foreign affairs commissions in the Senate and Chamber, endorsed the initiatives. In a letter addressed to President Aristide Briand published on January 1, 1916, in Le Temps, they praised North African soldiers for their “loyalty and profound attachment to France.” In recognition of this service, they called for the “admission of indigènes to a new regime of naturalization that does not entail a renunciation of personal status.”90 The political effects of these propositions would be significant, as some 173,000 Algerians served in the military during the course of the war.91
Their call spurred Algerian politicians into action. A commission convened by Governor-General Charles Lutaud and headed by none other than Marcel Morand drafted a response calling for all proposed legislation to be suspended until the end of the hostilities. Claims about the patriarchy of personal status featured prominently in their arguments against the law. As Morand explained, if the Algerian did not forgo his “personal status,” it “is especially because he does not want to abdicate his male superiority, and to impose upon himself a sacrifice, which, for him, is a genuine destitution [déchéance].”92 Like other colonial politicians and journalists, he bluntly equated Muslim personal status with a masculine sexual privilege, whose sacrifice he imagined as a de-virilizing loss. His report thus answered Clemenceau and Leygues’s proposal by maligning the Algerians who were the intended beneficiaries. Citing jurisprudence on the droit de djebr, Morand emphasized how “shocking it would be to allow a French citizen to maintain a personal status that authorizes him to force his prepubescent daughter to marry.”93 As depicted here, personal status entailed patriarchal rights that Algerian men refused to give up and that “full” French citizens were denied.
In order to enact a postwar reform, these divergent positions needed to be sorted out. Socialist deputy Marius Moutet (Rhône) surveyed the options and elaborated a project for the Chamber’s Commission on External Affairs. His program extended full political rights to a limited number of “elite” Algerians, including veterans, and expanded local electoral rights to a wider segment of the male population. In its original formulation, Moutet’s proposal allowed for the “exceptional” admission of those who did not “renounce” their personal status, which entailed “polygamy” and “the absolute right of a father over his children.” In doing so, it sought a compromise between both sides.94 Discussion of these provisions continued in the fall of 1917, when the proposal passed to the Interministerial Commission on Muslim Affairs and then the Conseil supérieur de l’Algérie in the spring of 1918. Throughout, polygamy played an outsize role in the debates both for and against reform.95
Moutet also presented the proposal to the Ligue des droits de l’homme. Addressing its annual Congress in 1917, he called for the “true representation of natives in the metropole.” Aware of the controversy that his proposal would elicit, he warned the audience that opponents would no doubt deride his project for authorizing “polygamous deputies.”96 No stranger to this debate, Deputy Blaise Diagne, elected from the Four Communes of Senegal in 1914, weighed in on the question as well. He had recently taken advantage of wartime to develop legislation that granted military recruits from the Four Communes and their descendants recognition as citizens without regard to their personal status.97 A precedent for advocates of Algerian political reform, Diagne’s measure provoked considerable resistance from colonial jurists on similar grounds. For Pierre Dareste, the founder of the leading French journal of colonial law, polygamy emblematized how the Muslim law of these “new citizens” from Senegal was “diametrically opposed to the Civil Code.”98 In now lending his support to Algerian political reform, Diagne marshaled a witty response at the Ligue assembly: he pointed out how the French army actually needed Muslim men to make up for their own diminished forces and low birthrate. Echoing Charles Mangin’s claims in La Force noire, he provocatively proclaimed: “Don’t you think that it is a service, a happy chance for France to have possessions with polygamous populations?”99
In her speech to the Ligue on the subject, feminist journalist Séverine also overturned assumptions about Muslim Algerians’ political and sexual difference. Her address highlighted instead what Algerians and women shared: political marginalization despite their wartime sacrifices. For Séverine, women’s and Algerians’ suffrage rights were linked, because “all inequalities are connected.” She presented jurists’ focus on Algerians’ polygamy as diversionary both politically and psychically, observing that “if we look around ourselves well, it might be possible to detect a certain Occidental phariseeism: the thing is practiced, but the word is denied [la pratique de la chose, le refus du mot].”100 In other words, for Séverine, a literalist interpretation of the Civil Code that presented the French citizen as monogamous in contrast to the presumptively polygamous Algerian obscured sexual inequality in French society, including persistent legal protections on men’s sexual license. Denying its existence “at home,” jurists and politicians projected patriarchy onto Muslim men in order to justify their political exclusion. Séverine’s brief statement distilled the double denegation at work in the politicization of polygamy. Obscured by the language of law, the unnamed “thing” continued in practice. It was avowed only by symptomatic negation: the refusal of full citizenship to Muslim Algerians who had maintained this “right.”
In their interventions before the Ligue, Diagne and Séverine slyly pointed to the affective denials and displacements at work in contemporary debates about Algerians’ polygamy and political rights. They showed how the imperative to renounce polygamy “in name, if not in practice” obscured sexual privileges and gendered exclusions that endured in French political and civil law. Contrary to jurists’ claims, that law did not instantiate universalism, nor did it extend equality to all citizens. Unrepresented in the “Symbolic” language of the Civil Code, the unnamed “thing” of polygamy persisted, but was only expressed in a displaced and apparently unfamiliar form.101 “Muslim” polygamy exhibited the sexual difference that was maintained in French codes as if it were foreign. In this sense, it was extimate to French law.
The question of whether polygamy was compatible with citizenship remained at the heart of the debate over Algerian political reform. Moutet’s voluminous report discussed the question at length, answering the multiple objections raised by Governor-General Lutaud and Morand on personal status and citizenship. In Moutet’s view, polygamy furnished “the strongest objection to naturalization in status.” He nonetheless argued that personal status could be reconciled with political rights and marshaled a host of arguments in support of this position. Using statistics to support his claims, he urged that polygamy was always “limited and exceptional,” ultimately destined to disappear. While avowing that “Muslim personal status goes against our sense of moral conceptions, of our juridical notion of public order,” he did not consider that status and the polygamy that it permitted “a definitive obstacle to the concession of political rights or the quality of citizen.”102 For Moutet, refusal of such rights was hypocritical, as it was for Abdesselem, precisely because polygamy was already part of French law: “this supposedly immoral custom is already legal; the legislator is not unaware of it—and what is more our judges must apply it every time it comes before their tribunals.” Moutet also expressed a certain moral skepticism toward French claims to superiority: “Can we seriously ask whether, based on our conceptions, our monogamous societies are more moral than polygamous societies? Is there less adultery, are there fewer illegitimate children [enfants naturels], less prostitution, fewer sex crimes [attentats criminels aux mœurs]?”103 Adopting a relativist stance, his proposed law ultimately required candidates to submit to French civil law, but only for the future (articles 11 and 12). Men who already had multiple wives would remain married to them, and their children would remain legitimate.
Provisions for polygamous citizens provoked a vigorous response from the Algerian Conseil supérieur de gouvernement. The secretary-general of the Conseil declared it “unacceptable that polygamy, which is considered contrary to public order and is even qualified as a crime in penal law, could be tolerated among indigènes who are French citizens under the pretext of respect for their vested right [droit acquis].”104 Pointing to potential conflicts of law, the director of indigenous affairs Dominique Luciani feigned concern for women: “In the family of the French citizen who has remained polygamous, what will be the situation of women?”105 Governor-General Jonnart concurred, asserting that there was a need for “a line of demarcation between the two legislations; it is best to establish it at the moment that natives ask to be admitted to the quality of French citizen.”106 As he explained in his final version of the project, “It is hard to admit that there might be polygamous citizens given that French law forbids polygamy.”107 The Conseil and the governor-general sought to restrict not just polygamy but more substantive rights, such as expanded political representation and the elimination of repressive tribunals. In the course of the debate, polygamy served to symbolically demarcate the two laws and hence the two populations.
A month later, representatives in the délégations financières displayed equally violent reactions. As Émile Morinaud explained in his report to the non - colon section, “it would be enough for indigènes to assemble their family according to Muslim law before naturalization in order to maintain the benefits of their personal status when they become French.” “French Algeria” would, he urged, not be “fooled” (ne sera pas dupe) by articles that allowed the new citizen’s family to remain under personal status law.108 Defending a revised version of the law, indigenous affairs director Luciani stressed that any Algerian who became a citizen “will notably renounce polygamy, and as a result, there will be equality of rights and duties between him and all French citizens.”109 Faced with such opposition from Algerian politicians, it was ultimately this iteration that was adopted as the so-called Jonnart Law on February 4, 1919. The symbolic and practical victory of this exclusive vision of Frenchness featured prominently in the second article, which required that all those who asked for citizenship had to be “monogamous or a bachelor.”110
Population and Polygamy
The Jonnart Law’s restrictive framework marked the foreclosure of the political possibilities created by the war. Loaded down in the end with cumbersome administrative requirements, it resulted in few new citizens (some 1,204 successful applications between 1919 and 1930).111 The law did, however, extend the franchise for Algerians without citizenship in municipal council and mayoral elections, as well as for the Conseil général and délégations financières.112 For the reform’s most virulent critics, however, the law conceded too much. A regular columnist for the Écho d’Alger, Fernand Ancey, who was president of the Union of Algerian Tobacco Farmers and vice president of the Confederation of Agriculture, demonstrated how fears of the polygamous citizen’s demographic and political threat persisted. Ancey claimed that because “Muslim” marriages were infrequently registered, Algerians could claim citizenship, while “continuing to live maritally as they do now.” He predicted that the French element in Algeria would “disappear, engulfed by the primitive race, or forced away [refoulée].”113 Ancey likewise denounced prepubescent marriage as evidence of Algerian criminality, as “the male spouse’s lubricity, the father’s desire for wealth, incite them to violate the law…and even other things.” For Ancey, these libidinous traits evidently rendered Algerians’ political assimilation “impossible.”114
Such cliché-filled commentary was, as we have seen, in many ways unre-markable. The response that it drew, not only in letters to the editor, but also in an increasingly visible and vibrant liberal Algerian press, was, however, new.115 In the wake of the war, Young Algerians founded new French-language publications to advocate for their positions, while escaping the heavier censorship that was imposed on Arabic-language publications. The most prominent, Ikdam (Courage) was close to the newly influential and charismatic politician Emir Khaled, grandson of the hero of Algerian resistance, Abd el Kader. In addition to operating as a political organ for the francophone Algerian elite, the paper spoke to a “French” readership, including in the colonial administration.116 From its first issues in 1919, the journal responded to what one contributor called Ancey’s “long hateful diatribe.” M. Kherroubi refuted the accusations by asserting that personal status was indeed French law: “The personal status of indigènes is regulated by laws, decrees, and arrêtés. In matters of marriage, divorce, and inheritance, by the Muslim Code. This Muslim Code has been sanctioned by laws; it has become the French Code for Algeria.”117 As he made clear, Muslim law was not just legitimate, it was legitimately French. According to Oukali Sadi, a wounded veteran, Ancey’s column, with its focus on Muslim sex and marriage, displayed an outdated settler mentality. He dismissively denounced Ancey as “a little potentate of the very old school who must have been in a profound sleep from August 2, 1914, until today.”118 Reversing tropes of Orientalist backwardness, Sadi’s settler slumbered in a historical time lag of petty tyranny, while young Algerians now represented modernity.
Bringing our story full circle, Ikdam chose to republish Taleb Abdesselem’s 1918 “Islam and the Allied Cause” speech in the context of this debate. As we saw at the beginning of the chapter, Abdesselem explicitly rejected outdated fantasies about polygamy as an obstacle to Muslim Algerians’ “droit de cité.” Asserting Algerians’ sexual modernity, he noted that “today a French Muslim blushes at the idea of having two wives.”119 Abdesselem’s powerful intervention was not, however, the paper’s last word on the prospects of the polygamous citizen.
A multipart article, “On Polygamy,” by A. D. de Beaumont offered a remarkable rejoinder to what Beaumont referred to as Abdesselem’s “false modesty” on the subject. The prominently placed series was hyperbolic and satirical, but like a good joke it expressed a kernel of unconscious truth. In answer to Abdesselem, it claimed that “Christians of Europe do not blush at all in possessing several women/wives [femmes], and in France, those who are known to have much success with the fair sex, far from being singled out, are the object of laudatory admiration that is traced with envy.” “No,” Beaumont continued, “Christians, neither in Europe, nor elsewhere, do not blush at having several women/wives. Only they don’t admit it [ne les avouent pas]. For there is a lot of hypocrisy in human nature and Christians are not exempt, despite their pretention to superiority.” In his view, the perverse and dangerous effects of “Christian pseudo-monogamy,” including abortions, infanticide, and depopulation, made French sexual mores not only dishonest, but deadly.120 What is more, the legalization of paternity searches in 1912 had now opened the way for the legal recognition of this “de facto polygamy.”121 Given “French law’s idea of matrimony” he could not explain “our legislator’s horror of polygamy…among other people [chez les autres].”122
Beaumont’s subsequent articles ironically elaborated on natalist themes by illuminating the mortal implications of France’s fake monogamy: “Our conception of monogamy aggravates a falling natality, facing us with this very real danger, O Frenchmen, of being submerged by more prolific races and especially the race that we think we have just vanquished.”123 He underscored that it was “strange” to “refuse the sons of Islam full entry into the French city under the tacit pretext that they can marry several women,” while “our civilization, supposedly edified and consolidated by the mortar of monogamy, practices, in fact, but hypocritically, a fatal polygamy.”124 Mocking clichés of the sexual civilizing mission, Beaumont represented France’s pseudomonogamy as a source not of advancement, but of decline.
Beaumont’s articles humorously suggested how polygamy could be a fantasmatic solution to grave population decline, the erosion of French masculinity, and the dangers of an excess of unmarried women.125 In Algeria, anxieties about the size and growth of the “French” population were particularly acute, exacerbated by declining migration rates and birthrates, as well as the increased sense of the political threat posed by the native Muslim population. In the decade following the war, associations such as the Ligues des familles nombreuses of Algeria actively promoted measures to politically and materially support large “European,” as opposed to native Algerian, families.126 The fantasy of polygamy could be seen as a distorting mirror of these more familiar natalist strategies. An article in the Annales africaines in 1916 made the argument explicitly, proclaiming, “We only have to have recourse to ourselves, our own human resources…in instituting polygamy!”127 In 1923, the scabrous pamphleteer Georges Anquetil’s La Maîtresse légitime likewise suggested how polygamy could solve France’s gender and population ills.128 And a cartoon in a risqué humor magazine, Le journal amusant, pursued the theme in its satire of polygamy’s potential to save France’s population—and men—from the gender crisis precipitated by the war. As depicted by Max Radiguet, the legalization of polygamy could overcome sterility and lesbianism, give all women a “right to legitimate conjugal joys,” and grant French men access to the pleasures of a colonial harem. It would also repopulate France.129 Similar to Beaumont’s column, the cartoon registered how polygamy was desired and disavowed. What made it funny was, as the debate about Algerians’ access to citizenship made clear, how polygamy appeared as an extimate fantasy of French men.
For opponents of reform, Algerians needed to sacrifice the sexual jouissance of personal status in order to accede to the abstract jouissance of citizenship. I have suggested how these arguments were based on projective identification, in which jurists and politicians denounced the exorbitant sexual rights of personal status as incompatible with citizenship because they granted unfair advantages to Algerian men. These assertions were suffused with affective and erotic investments. They displayed recurrent resentment and jealousy, as well as fears of French de-virilization. The relationship between French and Muslim law was not, however, a relationship of pure opposition, given how French fantasies and desires regularly disavowed the sexual privilege and inequality that persisted in French civil and political law. Understanding how “Muslim law” was extimate to “French law” helps clarify the visceral intensity of French charges against Algerian men at the very moment that the latter began to claim a measure of political equality. It also explains how and why those charges were vulnerable to both mockery and critique.
In their publications and their pronouncements, Young Algerians and their allies called attention to these affectively laden legal arguments. In asserting that Muslim law was French law, they critically recast understandings of these sexually demarcated legislations. Intellectuals such as Taleb Abdesselem pointed to how Muslim personal status was a French legal construct, while working to undo “novelistic” sexual fantasies about it. These critiques also indicated how denial structured claims about French law’s sexual superiority by pointing to ongoing restrictions on married women’s property, their exclusion from citizenship, and the persistence of “polygamy” in extramarital practice.
That which was supposedly most different about “Muslim law” appeared in such accounts as unsettlingly familiar, as critics of French “pseudomonogamy” made clear. The apparent irony of the 1919 Jonnart Law’s strictures on monogamy was all the more apparent in France’s widely perceived postwar population crisis, with its deficit of young French men and a surfeit of single women. The fantasy of polygamy as a parodic population panacea tellingly emerged at precisely the moment that monogamy became a condition of full citizenship. By criticizing French fantasies of Muslim law, young Algerians simultaneously asserted their own modernity. They suggested how jurists, politicians, and (as we will see in the next chapter) novelists were tethered to a colonial past anchored by such fantasies. In calling attention to this historical and legal disjuncture, they sought to shift the place of Muslim law in French law from a structuring extimité to a future-oriented droit de cité.
1. Miller, “Extimacy,” 76.
2. Dolar, “Beyond interpellation,” 80.
3. Miller, “Extimacy,” 79. In Lacanian terminology, “it is in its relation to jouissance that the Other is really Other.” In his account of extimacy, Lacan suggests how the biblical proscription on coveting the neighbor’s wife contains within it a fantasy of the neighbor’s forbidden sexual pleasure. Lacan, Seminar VII, 236–37. See also Seshadri, Desiring Whiteness, 58–60.
4. Paul Cuttoli in JO, Débats, Chambre, January 27, 1914, 250. For the original citation see Larcher, Traité élémentaire, 1:83.
5. On the Young Algerians see Fromage, “L’expérience des ‘Jeunes Algériens’ et l’émergence du militantisme moderne”; Merad, “Islam et nationalisme arabe en Algérie”; Ageron, “Le mouvement ‘Jeune-Algérien’”; Smati, Les é lites algé riennes sous la colonisation; McDougall, History of Algeria; Aissaoui, “Politics, Identity and Temporality.”
6. Abdesselem, L’organisation financière de l’Empire marocain, 31.
7. Ibid., 33.
8. On the délégations see Bouveresse, Un parlement colonial, vol. 1.
9. Abdesselem, “Le statut personnel des français musulmans.”
10. Bouali Ahmed ben Salah v. Bouali Fatima bent Salah, Cour d’Alger (May 6, 1920), RA, 1921, pt. 2, 52. Indeed, the ruling of the Appeals Court of Algiers highlighted the fact that her brother’s opposition was “in reality inspired by the sole fact that the future husband is a French citizen” (55). See also Charnay, La vie musulmane en Algérie, 260–63. Also, Meylan, Les mariages mixtes en Afrique du Nord, 83. This story speaks to how and why “Muslim personal status” became a touchstone for the ʾulamaʿ movement and Algerian nationalism in the 1930s. On how the colonial legal invention was “colonized” by Islamic reformism as essential to Algerian “personality” see McDougall, History and the Culture of Nationalism in Algeria, 86–96.
11. See also Abdesselem, “À propos des mariages musulmans en Algérie.”
12. Bouali Ahmed ben Salah v. Bouali Fatima bent Salah, Cour d’Alger (May 6, 1920), RA, 1921, pt. 2, 54.
13. Ibid., 59.
14. See, for example, “À travers l’Algérie—Cherchell: En l’honneur de Taleb Abdesselem,” L’Ikdam, January 28, 1921; “À travers l’Algérie—Tlemcen: Taleb Abdesselam,” L’Ikdam, April 15, 1921.
15. “Le Drame de Tlemcen,” L’Écho d’Alger, March 4, 1922. Also, March 5, March 7, March 8, 1922. See also Le Temps, March 9, 1922; Le Petit Journal, March 8, 1922.
16. “Le Drame de Tlemcen,” L’Écho d’Alger, March 7, 1922.
17. R.R., “Lettre d’Algérie,” Journal des débats, April 13, 1922. For Rey’s discussion of Muslim property law see Délégations financières algériennes, 1904, 281. Bouveresse, Un parlement colonial, 1. On the perpetual suspicion of Young Algerians see Smati, Les é lites algé riennes sous la colonisation, 238.
18. “À propos des mariages musulmans,” Journal des débats, June 1, 1922. See also “Les haines obscures,” L’Afrique du nord illustrée, February 18, 1922, 8–9; March 4, 1922, 7.
19. Abdesselam, “À propos des mariages musulmans en Algérie.”
20. “Décret relative à l’organisation de la justice musulmane en Algérie, 17 avril 1889,” in Estoublon and Lefébure, Code de l’Algérie, 1:859.
21. Bouali Abdallah v. époux Abdesselam ould Benouda ben Taieb et autres, Cour de cassation (July 18, 1923), RA, 1924, pt. 2, 247.
22. Ibid., 244.
23. Ibid., 246.
24. Ibid., 247–48.
25. G. Sabatier, Études sur les réformes algériennes, 35–36.
26. “La représentation des indigènes au Parlement,” Progrès d’Orléansville, October 5, 1922.
27. Reprinted in “Une conférence sur les musulmans,” L’Ouest-Éclair, February 8, 1918. The speech was occasionally republished in the French-language indigenous press. See, for example, L’Ikdam, July 26, 1919; L’Union (El Tihad): Journal Républicain d’Union Franco-Musulman, August 18, 1928.
28. “Une conférence sur les musulmans,” L’Ouest-Éclair, February 8, 1918. Married women’s civil incapacity would be reformed in 1938, but contemporary feminists remained disappointed by the limits of that law.
29. “French Seduction Theory,” in J. W. Scott, Fantasy of Feminist History.
30. “Une conférence sur les musulmans,” L’Ouest-Éclair, February 8, 1918. His position on the question resembled that of contemporary Egyptian reformers such as Qasim Amin and Mohammed ‘Abduh. For a contemporary account of ‘Abduh’s position see Aksékli Ahmed Hamdi, “L’islamisme et la polygamie,” Revue du monde musulman, vols. 26 and 27, 1914. See also Haj, Reconfiguring Islamic Tradition; Esmeir, “At Once Human and Not Human.”
31. E.N., “À propos d’une conférence sur les Musulmans,” L’Ouest-Éclair, February 9, 1918.
32. L.-M. Enfrey, “Réponse à une conférence sur les musulmans,” L’Ouest-Éclair, March 4, 1918.
33. Taleb Abdesselem, “Le statut personnel des français musulmans.”
34. Estoublon, “Mariages musulmans et kabyles.”
35. On “moralized sexual horror” as the inversion of the developmental futurity of the child see Edelman, No Future, 105. On narratives of progress and reproductive development see Pursley, “Stage of Adolescence.”
36. Edmond Norès, “Essai de codification du droit musulman algérien,” RA, 1903, pt. 1, 11.
37. Bouveresse, Un parlement colonial, 1:759.
38. Délégations financières algériennes, March 8, 1904, 204. For a critical account of colonial projects of codifying Muslim law see Hallaq, Sharī‘a. For a reframing of the problem of codification as principally one of state power see Emon, “Codification and Islamic Law.”
39. Sabatier, Délégations financières algériennes, March 14, 1905, 28.
40. Gouvernement général de l’Algérie, Projet de codification du droit musulman, vols. 1–3. The project would in total comprise nine volumes, which also included proposals to reform rules of inheritance and habous as well as real estate.
41. Ibid., 1:31–36.
42. Ibid., 1:61–62.
43. Gouvernement général de l’Algérie, Projet de codification du droit musulman, 2:27.
44. “Lettre des Qadis de Batna et de Baali et des Bach-Adels des Acheches et de Belezma à M. le Procureur de la République de Batna, July 11, 1904,” in Gouvernement général de l’Algérie, Projet de codification du droit musulman, 1:164.
45. Ibid., 1:85–86.
46. “Résumé des avis,” in Gouvernement général de l’Algérie, Projet de codification du droit musulman, 2:2. For the ambivalent position of official Muslim jurists see Christelow, Muslim Law Courts.
47. Arabi, “Orienting the Gaze”; Renucci, “La doctrine coloniale en République.”
48. Gouvernement général de l’Algérie, Projet de codification du droit musulman, 1:21–2.
49. Houdas, L’Islamisme, 278.
50. Résumé des avis, in Gouvernement général de l’Algérie, Projet de codification du droit musulman, 2:5. Amar, “Projet de codification du droit musulman.” See also Mahieddin, “Le droit musulman et l’école de droit d’Alger.”
51. Morand, La famille musulmane, 7. For Letourneau’s discussion of “la polygamie arabe” see Letourneau, L’évolution du mariage et de la famille, 173–84. For an earlier account see Chevillotte, De la famille musulmane en Algérie. On Maine and colonial legal thought see Mantena, Alibis of Empire.
52. Morand, La famille musulmane, 75.
53. Ibid., 74–75.
54. Morand, Avant-projet du Code, 6–7; Arabi, “Orienting the Gaze”; Bontems, “Les tentatives de codification du droit musulman.” On the influence of Algerian colonial efforts to systematize Muslim “personal law” in Egypt see Cuno, Modernizing Marriage, 161–66; Wood, Islamic Legal Revival, 107–16.
55. On the politics of colonial comparison see Stoler, Haunted by Empire. On the “family” and comparative family law see Halley and Rittich, “Critical Directions in Comparative Family Law.” On the effects of reimagining shari‘a in the framework of comparative, positive law see Esmeir, Juridical Humanity, 50.
56. Gouvernement général de l’Algérie, Projet de codification du droit musulman, 1:31.
57. Ousamma Arabi also notes the focus on marital consent; see Arabi, “Orienting the Gaze,” 63.
58. Gouvernement général de l’Algérie, Projet de codification du droit musulman, 2:5–7. For the references to the Egyptian Code see ibid., 64. See also Qadrī Bāšā, Droit musulman. Du statut personnel et des successions d’après le rite hanafite, 18–20. Also, Cuno, Modernizing Marriage, 175.
59. Gouvernement général de l’Algérie, Projet de codification du droit musulman, 3:45.
60. “Relevé des observations,” ibid., 3:48.
61. Ibid., 3:53.
62. “Loi du 21 Juin 1907, modifiant plusieurs dispositions légales relatives au mariage,” in JO, Lois et décrets, June 25, 1907, 4397–98.
63. Gouvernement général de l’Algérie, Projet de codification du droit musulman, 3:55.
64. On the Revue du monde musulman see Burke, “France and the Classical Sociology of Islam”; Bayly, “Racial Readings of Empire.”
65. On the role of ijtihad in contemporary Islamic legal reform see Peters, “Idjtihad and Taqlid in 18th and 19th Century Islam”; Hallaq, “Was the Gate of Ijtihad Closed?”
66. Ben Choaïb, “La codification du droit musulman,” 454–55.
67. Larcher, L’énigme. And Renucci, “La doctrine coloniale en République.”
68. Séance of June 14, 1905, in Société d’études politiques et sociales, “Assimilation progressive de l’Algérie à la France,” 130. The statement was cited in the codification survey, Gouvernement général de l’Algérie, Projet de codification du droit musulman, 1:113.
69. Émile Larcher, “Bibliographie ‘Projet de codification,’” RA, 1907, pt. 1, 124.
70. Marcel Morand, “Le Sénatus-consulte du 14 juillet 1865 et l’application de la loi musulmane aux indigènes de l’Algérie,” RA, 1907, pt. 1, 126.
71. Morand, Avant-projet du Code, 6.
72. Rozet to Pres. du Conseil, July 15, 1909, in Droit musulman/Codification/Justice Ministry, in AN 19950167/10.
73. Gov. Gen. to Garde des Sceaux, “Codification du Droit Musulman,” July 22, 1919, in Droit musulman/Codification/Justice Ministry, in AN 19950167/10.
74. See the critical article by Jean Mélia, “Respectons l’Islam,” Ikdam, November 6, 1919. Also, Bel, “La codification du droit musulman en Algérie.” See also the subsequent inquiry in ANOM 17 H 17.
75. “Vingt ans de politique algérienne: Le départ de M. Luciani,” Revue du monde musulman, no. 40–41 (1920): 5.
76. See, for example, Le Progrès de Orléansville, October 1, 1908; “La conscription des indigènes,” Le Progrès de Mascara, October 31, 1908.
77. Ageron, Les Algériens musulmans, 2:1064–65; Meynier, L’Algérie révélée, 89–96.
78. Paul d’Atys, “Fusil et Bulletin de Vote,” Le Progrès, January 2, 1908.
79. Marcel Savoyant, “La conscription des indigènes,” Le Courrier de Tlemcen, October 16, 1908.
80. Camille Brunel, “À propos du service obligatoire des indigènes Algériens,” Le Courrier de Tlemcen, July 17, 1908. Also published in “Le service militaire obligatoire pour les indigènes en Algérie,” 148–54. The statements resonate with the analysis in Fanon, “Algeria Unveiled.”
81. L’Islam, July 23, 1912. Also, Bouveresse, Un parlement colonial, 1:842–43.
82. Hamet, “La naturalisation des indigènes algériens,” 383–84.
83. Kateb, “Polygamie et répudiation.” See also Ministère du Commerce, Annuaire statistique, 1906, 335.
84. “Position de la Question: Au point de vue juridique,” La Revue indigène 6, no. 63–64 (July–August 1911): 420.
85. Charles de Boeck, La Revue indigène 6, no. 63–64 (July–August 1911): 451.
86. Amédée Rinderhagen, “La naturalisation des indigènes dans le statut musulman,” L’Écho d’Alger, July 7, 1912.
87. Sèbe, La conscription des indigènes d’Algérie, 80–81.
88. Émile Broussais, “L’Esprit Algérien,” L’Écho d’Alger, December 28, 1912. See also Broussais’s letter in Le Temps, December 27, 1912.
89. Georges Boussenot and Ernest Outrey, “Proposition de loi ayant pour objet de régler les conditions d’accession des indigènes civils et militaires de l’Algérie, des colonies et protectorat à la qualité de citoyen français,” JO, Chambre, annexe 1034, June 24, 1915, 5–6. And Albin Rozet, Georges Leygues, Henri Doizy, Lucien Millevoye, “Proposition de loi ayant pour objet de faciliter aux militaires et anciens militaires indigènes originaires de l’Algérie, de la Tunisie et du Maroc à l’accession à la qualité de citoyen français,” JO, Chambre, annexe 820, April 1, 1915.
90. Georges Clemenceau and Georges Leygues, “Les réformes algériennes,” Le Temps, January 1, 1916.
91. McDougall, History of Algeria, 136.
92. Morand, Contribution à l’étude des réformes, 22. Speaking vehemently against the Viollette Bill on March 21, 1935, Senator Paul Cuttoli reprised this exact passage. JO, Sénat, March 21, 1935, 357. Also cited in Jeanne Bowlan, “Polygamists Need Not Apply,” 117.
93. Morand, Contribution à l’étude des réformes, 18. See also Conseil supérieur de l’Algérie, Procès-verbaux, Séance June 30, 1916, 116–17.
94. Rapport Moutet, JO, Doc. Parl., Chambre, annexe 4383 (March 1, 1918), 348. For an overview see Ageron, Les Algériens musulmans, 2: 1205–8.
95. See Bowlan, “Polygamists Need Not Apply,” and Fogarty, Race and War in France, 252–57.
96. Ligue des droits de l’homme, “Le Congrès de 1917—Les droits politiques des Indigènes en Algérie,” 74.
97. “Loi du 29 septembre 1916,” JO, Lois et décrets, October 1, 1916, 8667–68. Also, Conklin, Mission to Civilize, 155; Mann, Native Sons, 69–70; Fogarty, Race and War in France, 239–40.
98. Pierre Dareste, “Les nouveaux citoyens français (loi du 29 septembre 1916),” Receuil de législation et jurisprudence coloniales, 2, 8. For Dareste the religious basis of “Muslim law” presented an essential conflict with the “laïcité” of the Civil Code. Cited in Saada, Empire’s Children, 104.
99. Ligue des droits de l’homme, “Le Congrès de 1917—Les droits politiques des Indigènes en Algérie,” 91–2. Also, Mangin, La force noire, 285.
100. “Le Congrès de 1917—Les droits politiques des Indigènes en Algérie,” 93.
101. On the uncanny representation of the “thing” see Lacan, Seminar VII, 71.
102. Rapport Moutet, JO, Doc. Parl., Chambre, annexe 4383 (March 1, 1918), 330.
103. Ibid., 332–33.
104. “Projet de loi fixant les conditions d’accession des indigènes à la qualité de citoyen français,” Délibérations du Conseil du Gouvernement, Extraits des procès-verbaux, April 5, 1918, 38–39, in AN 19950167/2.
105. “Projet de loi,” Délibérations, in AN 19950167/2.
106. “Projet de loi,” Délibérations, 43, in AN 19950167/2.
107. Gov. Gen. to Pres. du Conseil, “Envoi d’un projet de loi,” April 19, 1918, 7, in AN 19950167/2.
108. Morinaud, Délégations financières algériennes, May 29, 1918, Section non-colons, 249. Duret in his report to the Section colons reproduced Morinaud’s motion, Délégations financières algériennes, June 22, 1918, Section colons, 580. For an overview see Bouveresse, Un parlement colonial, 1:174–79.
109. Luciani, Délégations financières algériennes, May 29, 1918, Section non-colons, 259.
110. “Loi du 4 Fevrier 1919 sur l’accession des indigènes de l’Algérie aux droits politiques,” JO, Lois et décrets, February 6, 1919, 1358–59.
111. Weil, “Le statut des musulmans en Algérie coloniale,” 106.
112. McDougall, History of Algeria, 152.
113. Fernand Ancey, “La question indigène: Électeurs et éligible,” L’Écho d’Alger, February 16, 1919.
114. Fernand Ancey, “La question indigène: Le statut personnel,” L’Écho d’Alger, March 16, 1919.
115. See letter by Ioulalen Arezki in L’Écho d’Alger, February 26, 1919.
116. Dunwoodie, Francophone Writing in Transition, 56. See also Meynier, L’é mir Khaled, 271; Ihaddaden, Histoire de la presse indigène; Asseraf, “Foreign News in Colonial Algeria, 1881–1940.”
117. M. Kherroubi, “J’ai souri,” Ikdam, April 5, 1919.
118. Oukali Sadi, “Réflexions d’un poilu,” Ikdam, April 5, 1919. See also the responses in Ikdam, March 29, 1919.
119. Taleb Abdesselem, “Une conférence sur les Musulmans,” Ikdam, July 26, 1919.
120. A. D. de Beaumont, “De la polygamie,” Ikdam, August 16, 1919. Subsequent articles appeared on August 23, September 20, October 30, and November 6, 1919. He also wrote regularly for Islam before the war.
121. A. D. de Beaumont, “De la polygamie,” Ikdam, September 20, 1919. On the recherche de paternité see Fuchs, Contested Paternity. The law did not apply in the colonies: Saada, Empire’s Children; Pedersen, “‘Special Customs.’”
122. A. D. de Beaumont, “De la polygamie,” Ikdam, August 16, 1919.
123. A. D. de Beaumont, “De la polygamie,” Ikdam, September 20, 1919.
125. On how the postwar imagination of polygamy was linked to fears of single women and population concerns see M. L. Roberts, Civilization without Sexes, 155.
126. Barthelet, “Natalité et peuplement en Afrique du Nord.” Also, Andersen, Regeneration through Empire, 215–16.
127. C. Mairin, “Après la guerre: Repopulation,” Annales africaines, May 1, 1916, 103. See also “Les vieilles filles,” Annales africaines, March 1, 1917. Also, the account of a campaign in favor of polygamy in L’Union républicaine of Philippeville, in Annales africaines, July 15, 1917, 169.
128. Anquetil, La maîtresse légitime.
129. Radiguet, “Polygamie,” Le Journal amusant, April 7, 1923.