Globalization, mondialisation and the immonde in contemporary Francophone African literature

Syrotinski, M. (2014) Globalization, mondialisation and the immonde in contemporary Francophone African literature. Paragraph, 37(2), pp. 254-272. (doi:10.3366/para.2014.0125)

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Abstract

Taking as its theoretical frame of reference Jean-Luc Nancy's distinction between globalization and mondialisation, this article explores the relationship between contemporary Africa, the 'world' and the 'literary'. The discussion centres on a number of present-day African novelists, and looks in particular at a controversial recent text by the Cameroonian writer and critic, Patrice Nganang, who is inspired by the work of the well-known theorist of postcolonial Africa, Achille Mbembe. For both writers 'Africa', as a generic point of reference, is seen in terms of a certain genealogy of Africanist thinking, from colonial times through to the contemporary postcolonial era, and the article reflects on what a radical challenge to this genealogy might entail. Using a more phenomenologically oriented reading of monde (world) and immonde (abject, literally un-world), this rupture could be conceived in terms of the kind of 'epistemological break' that thinkers like Althusser and Foucault introduced into common usage and theoretical currency in contemporary French thought back in the 1960s.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Syrotinski, Professor Michael
Authors: Syrotinski, M.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Modern Languages and Cultures > French
Journal Name:Paragraph
Publisher:Edinburgh University Press
ISSN:0264-8334
ISSN (Online):1750-0176
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 Edinburgh University Press
First Published:First published in Paragraph 37(2):254-272
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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