Colo-mentality: Colonial Trauma in Oyono’s Houseboy and Condé’s Crossing the Mangrove
Abstract

ABSTRACT:

This essay analyzes the traumas induced by colonial violence in Ferdinand Oyono’s Houseboy and Maryse Condé’s Crossing the Mangrove. Despite the differences between both texts, they are joined by their engagement with colonial violence in African societies, by their discursive inscription of trauma arising from such violence, and the way their portrayal of the severity of colonial violence shows the limits of trauma theory. Moreover, both novels’ portrayals of bloodshed and death make them rich for a comparative study of colonial trauma. Cathy Caruth’s notion of trauma inspires the use of the term in this essay.