n French Studies in Southern Africa - La littérature française n'existe pas. Penser la catégorie de littérature nationale aujourd'hui




Francophone African publishing has reached a new threshold, with the introduction of new role-players and a marked increase in the number of publications. This article aims to update the notion of national literature in order to better understand this phenomenon and its consequences, in terms of the perceived competition between literary fields on the international scene. In order to do so, the article proposes two definitions of national literature. The first definition is based on the romanticist conception of nation and literature. The nation is according to this viewpoint an organic being animated by a specific essence and spirit; literature, driven by the national soul, is tasked to transmit its values. The second definition is sociological and puts forward the manner in which the literary act intervenes in a particular social space governed by its own rules and logics, and which depends on a certain number of institutions, among which publishing houses.


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