Abstract

Through a reading of the theme of doubleness in Alain Mabanckou’s African Psycho, a theme that also includes the extra-textual positioning of the novel as a literary double to Brett Easton Ellis’s American Psycho, I argue that Mabanckou’s novel gestures toward a narrative double that is almost completely obscured by the narration itself, namely the traumatic legacy of ongoing civil war and strife in the Congo region. Using Achille Mbembe’s reading of Cameroonian political cartoons as a lens through which to discuss “the thing and its doubles,” I suggest that African Psycho offers a tangible and complex representation of Mbembe’s contention that the only means of accurately representing the immediate present of Africa is not through standard realism, but through a mode that is excessive, grotesque, cartoonish, and hallucinatory.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2044
Print ISSN
0034-5210
Pages
pp. 39-56
Launched on MUSE
2016-03-06
Open Access
No
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