n French Studies in Southern Africa - "L'amour physique est sans issue" : l'altérité du de Birago Diop (en cours du FLE)

Volume 2005, Issue 34
  • ISSN : 0259-0247



This article is primarily concerned with the marginality ("otherness") of the African folktale in (French) literary studies. A brief review is given of this marginality on account of two theoretical approaches to the folktale: a sociological / africanist approach, focusing on its "traditional values", and a structuralist approach, focusing on its (archetypal) simplicity. Offering a brief reflection on the reception of the folktale in the South African French literature class, the article proceeds to offer a "provocative" reading of Birago Diop's "Petit mari" that suggests the possibility of a folktale that, not unlike the modernist text, is open to "a multiplicity of signifieds" (Easthope). Central to this reading is the questioning of "masculinity" as a core value of traditional Africa.

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