n Critical Arts : A Journal of South-North Cultural and Media Studies - Postcolonial archives : V.Y. Mudimbe's




This essay presents an analysis of V.Y. Mudimbe's novel, <I>The Rift&lt;/I&gt; (1979/ 1993). I read this novel as an engagement with both the colonial archives of discourse about Africa, and also as an engagement with psychoanalytic attempts to create an archive of a discourse about identity and sexuality. I argue that desire and sexuality are often silenced topics in the critical responses to this novel, and that they should be made central to a reading of this diaristic text. This essay shows how <I>The Rift&lt;/I&gt; problematises both psychoanalysis and ethnography as sciences of self and culture which must necessarily be seen as infinitely open to interpretation.


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