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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Performing Identity: Nations, Cultures and African Experimental Novels
Author:Taoua, Phyllis
Periodical:Journal of African Cultural Studies
Geographic term:Congo (Republic of)
French language
Literature, Mass Media and the Press
About person:Sony Labou Tansi (1947-1995)ISNI
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13696810120107131
Abstract:This article explores general trends in postcolonial African literature and criticism with a particular focus on the Congolese writer Sony Labou Tansi (1947-1995). It argues that the third generation of politically engaged African writers turned to experimental novels during the 1960s to express their dissent; they called into question existing notions of culture, literature and nation. Sony is considered as an exemplary figure in relation to other francophone novelists of his generation and the literary shift to which they collectively contributed. The compromises entailed in Sony's publication of novels in France are discussed in terms of institutional constraints and the surreptitious nature of multilayered texts, both symptoms and acts of resistance, which are produced in response. The aesthetic innovation of Sony's experimental novels marked by his 'tropicalities' is contextualized with reference to contemporary African philosophy and literary criticism. Reconsidering the continued effects of cultural antagonism, the article contests notions of authenticity on which the old-fashioned discourse of cultural nationalism rests. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum.