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Literature > African Literature

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Lire Sembene Ousmane Cover

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Lire Sembene Ousmane

Le Mandat

Ousmane SembËne started writing by 1952. The Black Docker, his first novel inspired by the Marseille experience was published in 1956 by Debresse. In 1957, Amiot Dumont published O Pays, mon beau Peuple, a caustic critic of the colonial plight. This second inaugural piece, clearly autobiographical and sentimental is followed up by a vast knowledge of the strike of the Dakar-Niger railway workers: Godís Bits of Wood published in 1960 by Livre Contemporain. In 1961, PrÈsence Africaine pulished his collection of short stories, VoltaÔque, in 1964 the first volume of líHarmattan which is a replay of the 28th September 1958 referendum in black Africa and in 1966 Vehi-Ciosane followed by The Money Order. To this date with six published novels and a renown Cinematographer, Ousmane SembËne with the help of his sharp pen and his critical and observant look decides to examine the fate that the new bourgeoisie and the administrative bureaucracy mete on the downtrodden of this ignominious beauty, Dakar, the Capital of an African nation in the wake of independence. Thanks to a money order that Ibrahima Dieng wants to cash, the film maker/writer takes this character through the urban administrative labyrinth, through neighbourly disputes and through family life in the neighbourhood, highlighting and pointing in passing the crossings, abuses, vices and vicissitudes which make up this segment of life, in every aspect, exemplary. The story unfolds with the arrival of a postman carrying a letter and a problematic money order; it ends on the image of the postman handing a letter to Dieng, when a woman carrying a baby on her back comes in and interrupts them to expose the origins of her misfortunes, asking for help.

The Magellan Fallacy Cover

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The Magellan Fallacy

Globalization and the Emergence of Asian and African Literature in Spanish

Adam Lifshey

The Magellan Fallacy argues that literature in Spanish from Asia and Africa, though virtually unknown, reimagines the supposed centers and peripheries of the modern world in fundamental ways. Through archival research and comparative readings, The Magellan Fallacy rethinks mainstream mappings of diverse cultures while advocating the creation of a new field of scholarship: global literature in Spanish. As the first attempt to analyze Asian and African literature in Spanish together, and doing so while ranging over all continents, The Magellan Fallacy crosses geopolitical and cultural borders without end. The implications of the book, therefore, extend far beyond the lands formerly ruled by the Spanish empire. The Magellan Fallacy shows that all theories of globalization, including those focused on the Americas and Europe, must be able to account for the varied significances of hispanophone Asia and Africa as well.

Manning the Nation. Father Figures in Zimbabwean Literature and Society Cover

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Manning the Nation. Father Figures in Zimbabwean Literature and Society

Gender studies in Zimbabwe have tended to focus on women and their comparative disadvantages and under-privilege. Assuming a broader perspective is necessary at a time when society has grown used to arguments rooted in binaries: colonised and coloniser, race and class, sex and gender, poverty and wealth, patriotism and terrorism, etc. The editors of Manning the Nation recognise that concepts of manhood can be used to repress or liberate, and will depend on historical and political imperatives; they seek to introduce a more nuanced perspective to the interconnectivity of patriarchy, masculinity, the nation, and its image. The essays in this volume come from well-respected academics working in a variety of fields. The ideals and concepts of manhood are examined as they are reflected in important Zimbabwean literary texts. However, if literature provides a rich vein for the analysis of masculinities, what makes this collection so interesting is the interplay of literary analysis with chapters that provide a critical examination of the ways in which ideals of manhood have been employed in, for example, leadership and the nation, as a justification for violent engagement, in the field of AIDS and HIV, etc. Manning the Nation: Father figures in Zimbabwean literature and society sets the stage for a fresh and engaging discourse essential at a time when new paradigms are needed.

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Narratives of Catastrophe

Boris Diop, ben Jelloun, Khatibi

Nasrin Qader

Narratives of Catastrophe tells the story of the relationship between catastrophe, in the senses of down turnand break,and narration as recountingin the senses suggested by the French term rcit in selected texts by three leading writers from Africa. Qader's book begins by exploring the political implications of narrating catastrophic historical events. Through careful readings of singular literary texts on the genocide in Rwanda and on Tazmamart, a secret prison in Morocco under the reign of Hassan II, Qader shows how historical catastrophes enter language and how this language is marked by the catastrophe it recounts. Not satisfied with the extra-literary characterizations of catastrophe in terms of numbers, laws, and naming, she investigates the catastrophic in catastrophe, arguing that catastrophe is always an effect of language andthought,. The rcit becomes a privileged site because the difficulties of thinking and speaking about catastrophe unfold through the very movements of storytelling.This book intervenes in important ways in the current scholarship in the field of African literatures. It shows the contributions of African literatures in elucidating theoretical problems for literary studies in general, such as storytelling's relationship to temporality, subjectivity, and thought. Moreover, it addresses the issue of storytelling, which is of central concern in the context of African literatures but still remains limited mostly to the distinction between the oral and the written. The notion of rcit breaks with this duality by foregrounding the inaugural temporality of telling and of writing as repetition.The final chapters examine catastrophic turns within the philosophical traditions of the West and in Islamic thought, highlighting their interconnections and differences.

Nation-Building, Propaganda, and Literature in Francophone
                Africa Cover

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Nation-Building, Propaganda, and Literature in Francophone Africa

Dominic Thomas

What characterizes the relationship between literature and the state? Should literature serve the needs of the state by constructing national consciousness, espousing state propaganda, and molding good citizens? Or should it be dedicated to a different kind of creative social endeavor? In this important book about literature and the politics of nation-building, Dominic Thomas assesses the contributions of Francophone African writers whose works have played a key role in the recent transition to democracy in the Congo. Exploring the works of Sony Labou Tansi, Henri Lopes, and Emmanuel Dongala, among others, Thomas highlights writers intimately involved with government and politics -- whether in support of the state's vision or with the intention of articulating a more open view of citizens and society. Focusing on themes such as collaboration, reconciliation, identity, history, and memory, Nation-Building, Propaganda, and Literature in Francophone Africa elaborates a broader understanding of the circumstances of African colonization, modern African nation-state formation, and the complex cultural dynamics at work in Africa since independence.

Our Mothers, Our Powers, Our Texts Cover

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Our Mothers, Our Powers, Our Texts

Manifestations of

Teresa N. Washington

"Washington writes supple and thoughtful prose and creatively integrates African and African-derived terminology, which never distract the reader. I consider Our Mothers, Our Powers, Our Texts not only a brilliant study, but also a model to be emulated." -- Ousseynou B. Traore, William Patterson University

Ousmane Sembène Cover

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Ousmane Sembène

The Making of a Militant Artist

Samba Gadjigo. Translated by Moustapha Diop. Foreword by Danny Glover

Samba Gadjigo presents a unique personal portrait and intellectual history of novelist and filmmaker Ousmane Sembène. Though Sembène has persistently deflected attention away from his personality, his life, and his past, Gadjigo has had unprecedented access to the artist and his family. This book is the first comprehensive biography of Sembène and contributes a critical appraisal of his life and art in the context of the political and social influences on his work. Beginning with Sembène's life in Casamance, Senegal, and ending with his militant career as a dockworker in Marseilles, Gadjigo places Sembène into the context of African colonial and postcolonial culture and charts his achievements in film and literature. This landmark book reveals the inner workings of one of Africa's most distinguished and controversial figures.

Outward Evil Inward Battle Cover

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Outward Evil Inward Battle

Human Memory in Literature

This book is a timely humanistic touch to memory studies. It uses literature as a laboratory for the workings of the mind, and characters as the subjects of human experimentation and diagnostics. This book considers authors from different societies and historical periods. The book is a refreshing illumination on the functioning of human memory. It complements the work of neuroscientists who seek to rationalize the workings of the same. Drawing from various ideas on memory, this rich and authoritative volume results from wide-ranging endeavors centered on the common fact that tracking memory in literature provides an astounding vista of orientations covered in its separate chapters. The writers examined in the various chapters become mediums for unleashing memory and its reconfiguration into artistic images. The ten separate chapters investigate different aspects of memory in such memoric associations as power, music, resistance, trauma, and identity. It is therefore no surprise that the editors should consider this book as ìa veritable menu for everything needed for an unforgettable memory banquetî.

The People’s Right to the Novel Cover

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The People’s Right to the Novel

War Fiction in the Postcolony

Eleni Coundouriotis

This study offers a literary history of the war novel in Africa. Coundouriotis argues that this genre, aimed more specifically at African readers than the continent’s better-known bildungsroman tradition, nevertheless makes an important intervention in global understandings of human rights._x000B__x000B_The African war novel lies at the convergence of two sensibilities it encounters in European traditions: the naturalist aesthetic and the discourse of humanitarianism, whether in the form of sentimentalism or of human rights law. Both these sensibilities are present in culturally hybrid forms in the African war novel, reflecting its syncretism as a narrative practice engaged with the colonial and postcolonial history of the continent._x000B__x000B_The war novel, Coundouriotis argues, stakes claims to collective rights that contrast with the individualism of the bildungsroman tradition. The genre is a form of people’s history that participates in a political struggle for the rights of the dispossessed._x000B_

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