Abstract

This article considers the political potential of literary opacity through the lens of Edouard Glissant’s theories of opacité. In Le Discours antillais, Glissant connects social experience and literary form: for Glissant, opacité is a strategic, poetic response to particular traumatic or oppressive experiences in the Caribbean. In considering the basis of Glissant’s theory, I contend that the logic by which he connects the two in fact holds in other settings, such as (post)colonial Algeria. When their narratives address cultural and political oppression, Kateb Yacine and Mohammed Dib also draw on opaque literary strategies as a means of negotiating such traumas, indirectly. I argue that the political force of their writing is enhanced, rather than obscured, by such a poetics; that it does not simply present the nature of oppression, but in fact reenacts—and actively challenges it—through form itself.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2044
Print ISSN
0034-5210
Pages
pp. 50-69
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-06
Open Access
No
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