n French Studies in Southern Africa - Texte comme prétexte : la transfiguration générique dans des romans de Sony Labou Tansi et de Ngugi wa Thiong'o

Volume 2013, Issue 43
  • ISSN : 0259-0247



The primacy of the novel as representation of the social, economic and political transmutations in postcolonial Africa can be explained through its propensity to assimilate other modes of artistic representation, turning it into an appropriate medium of generic fusion. Through the analysis of Sony Labou Tansi's and Ngugi wa Thiong'o's , this article seeks to examine the generic configuration novels undergo as they attempt to represent extreme social conditions and the paradoxes of the post-colonial political space. With close regard to their narrative structures, this paper argues that although these texts are primarily known as "novels", they make recourse to corporal and theatrical forms that broaden their possible modes of apprehension beyond that of the novel. Tansi transforms the novelistic genre to express inhuman political violence while Ngugi's theatrical bodies expose the sham of postcolonial politics. In another dimension, while Tansi's organic text follows a postmodernist de-anchoring of the signifier, Ngugi's text reveals subtle forms of authorial intrusion in the determination of textual signification.

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