n French Studies in Southern Africa - De L'Aventure ambiguë aux Gardiens du temple : le devenir de l'Afrique par Cheikh Hamidou Kane

Volume 2007, Issue 37
  • ISSN : 0259-0247



This article proposes a parallel reading of Cheikh Hamidou Kane's two novels, (1961) and (1996). Both deal with the problems caused by colonialism in an African country, in the period following the arrival of the Other, the White man. The first is set at the beginning of the colonial era and the second against the background of the newly independent African state. The questions raised by the first, better-known work, a tightly structured, tragic tale, philosophical in argument, are responded to in the longer, more realist novel, set at the end of the second millennium. This study examines the development of Kane's argument about the African nation state, raising such issues as education, technological development, corruption, political leadership, modernity and traditional values. The focus of Kane's readership to date has been on whereas this paper argues that the first novel is complemented by Cheikh Hamidou Kane's second novel, . This paper concludes that Kane's two novels constitute a more effective assessment and analysis of African politics and society when read or studied together. Although very different in certain respects, they are closely related thematically and form a whole in terms of the author's view of the current and future state of African society and its governance.

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