n French Studies in Southern Africa - Approche critique d'une vision du monde dans l'oeuvre d'Henri Lopes

Volume 2006, Issue 36
  • ISSN : 0259-0247



An analysis of Henri Lopes' novels reveals a traditional African society that is characterized by a penchant for superstition. Most of the events experienced or simply described by the characters refer to a materialistic world that seems to be governed by practices of the occult. The integration of supernatural power into daily activities is striking. Supernatural force is considered capable of allowing humanity to control destiny and change fate at will. On the other hand, this supremacy over the universe gives a human being the power to harm or destroy any person he dislikes, as the power is neutral and obeys the will of its possessor. Lopes' work also emphasizes the integration of such supernatural power by the postcolonial African leadership into the management of State affairs. The immortality of the human soul and its potential to live both in this concrete world and beyond are also under scrutiny.

However, the author distances himself from these traditional beliefs and raises a different voice: the new African era should not be bound to a tradition of superstition. The new generation of Africans in the novels are depicted as modernist and revolutionary as they rise up against a perception of the world based on occultism. Lopes' work plays what is obviously a deliberate role in this demystification process.

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