n French Studies in Southern Africa - Dany Laferrière ou comment réaliser le fantasme d'écriture par les lieux communs

Volume 2014, Issue 44
  • ISSN : 0259-0247



In his first published novel, (1985), Dany Laferrière fights against history and writer's block by revisiting, using, and abusing the common places of the relationship between the white woman and the black man. The writing is blatantly presented via a sexual act - the encounter of the black male with the white female - and is of jouissance, which, through multiple voices, makes the female a bearer of history. Thus, along with the story, history writes itself on the blank page, this being possible only because, as Balzac once wrote to Madame Hanska, woman and paper are both white matter that can bear anything. The woman's whiteness is restrictive; she has to be as white as the paper, and as enduring. Everything is possible with paper, and woman, just like paper, becomes the place of all promises. The question is however not about the domination of the white woman, but rather about defeating inhibition through her. As such she is the way to vanquish the , at once the blank page (writer's block) and the inhibiting white literature of the Western world. The Nègre, the ghostwriter, now gets to write in his own name.

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