Employing as a reading strategy the controversial notion of "sampling" as understood in the context of hip-hop music, this article analyzes Calixthe Beyala's multiple literary borrowings in The Little Prince of Belleville. Rather than scrutinizing Beyala's defense, it turns to the original texts of the iconic works that Betrayal "samples" to show how they are themselves examples of transcultural literary works, purely French neither in origin or subject matter. Demonstrating how, despite their various differences, these earlier coming-of-age novels often strike a similar range of chords in their tales of children-as outsiders, the article explores how Beyala's novel both appropriates their legacy and attempts to make it signify otherwise. Ultimately, it argues, Beyala's story of a Malian immigrant boy comically navigating multicultural Paris and his family heritage continues to defy judgment, instead repeatedly confronting us with the ideological entanglements that pervade global cultural economies.


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pp. 203-221
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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