n French Studies in Southern Africa - Portrait de famille : L'Africain de J.M.G. Le Clézio
|Article Title||Portrait de famille : L'Africain de J.M.G. Le Clézio|
|© Publisher:||Association for French Studies in Southern Africa (AFSSA)|
|Journal||French Studies in Southern Africa|
|Affiliations||1 University of the Free State|
|Publication Date||Jan 2014|
|Pages||117 - 131|
|Keyword(s)||Autobiographie, Autobiography, Autofiction, Biographie, Biography, Femmes, L'Africain, Simone Le Clezio and Women|
L'Africain is the Le Clézio text which most resembles a biography (of his father, Raoul), as well as containing autobiographical elements. Dedicated to a "doctor without borders", L'Africain also contains a portrait of Simone Le Clézio, the author's mother, whose life story is fictionalized in Ritournelle de la faim. In both L'Africain and Onitsha, a novel inspired by the same events, Simone Le Clézio is shown as adapting effortlessly to life in Africa. Yet she is not only absent from the title of L'Africain, she is erased from the author's family tree through his admission to a protracted dream of having a black mother. The article aims, firstly, to illustrate the author's reinvention of the circumstances of his conception and birth, an important theme in his oeuvre. Secondly, by means of a hermeneutic reading of those passages dedicated to Simone Le Clézio, to produce an abridged biography of a woman who protected her children throughout the war years in Europe and who seems to have been assigned the same role during her second African sojourn. In this sense, the detailed description of the excessive force used on a female scorpion becomes more than a mere anecdote. Ultimately, the article aims to rehabilitate a woman whose Africanness was more than skin deep.
Article metrics loading...