n French Studies in Southern Africa - Le roman africain par le jeu de l'oralité : vers une écriture fragmentaire

Volume 2014, Issue 44
  • ISSN : 0259-0247



In the debate about the reconfiguration of the African novel and African writing, the processes of orality have been presented as amongst the most fundamental indicators, if not actual paradigms, of its on-going renewal. By virtue of its nature and mode of organisation, prime factors in the de-structuration of the text, orality comes to constitute the foundation of a fragmentary writing. Through the layered encoding of the readable elements of this orality we encounter a fracturing of narrative procedures, a rupturing of the text into different filaments, the implosion of the written page. In this way orality has the effect of undermining the novel, depriving it of its elementary forms in order to contaminate it. In substantiating these conceptions of orality, the present article shows how African authors proceed from a postmodern logic in which, unlike the thematic representation of the traditional novel, the novel is semiotically represented in terms of a society fundamentally characterized by extra-literary forms of heterogeneity, mobility and an aesthetic of instantaneity.

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