Abstract

Ahmadou Kourouma's final (posthumous) novel, Quand on refuse, on dit non, clearly presents the late President Houphouët-Boigny as the vaillain from the modern history of independent Côte d'Ivoire. The goal of this study is to trace the presence of Houphouët in Kourouma's five published novels, from the allusions to a dictatorial president who indulges in arbitrary arrests, torture, and execution (Les soleils des independences), over a rapid history of Côte d'Ivoire from colonization to the 1980s (Monnè, outrages et defies), to the lightly disguised portrait of Houphouët as Tiékoroni (En attendant le vote des bêtes sauvages), to his presumed negotiation with the rebel leader Foday Sankoh of Sierra Leone Allah n'est pas obligé). In the final, uncompleted novel, Quand on refuse, on dit non, the scene is the civil war that broke out in Côte d'Ivoire in September 1992, under the presidency of Laurent Gbagbo. Kourouma clearly states that "the history of Côte d'Ivoire is confounded with the personal history of Houphouët-Boigny." Kourouma is not above the use of unconfirmed legend, blended with historical fact, in composing a broad canvas of Houphouët's "corruption and unscrupulousness."

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2044
Print ISSN
0034-5210
Pages
pp. 124-139
Launched on MUSE
2007-05-10
Open Access
No
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