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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Dictatorship and the emptiness of the rhetoric of totalitarian discourse in Sony Labou Tansi's 'La vie et demie'
Author:Ndiaye, SerigneISNI
Periodical:Research in African Literatures
Geographic term:Congo (Republic of)
About person:Sony Labou Tansi (1947-1995)ISNI
External link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/research_in_african_literatures/v034/34.2ndiaye.pdf
Abstract:Thematically, 'La vie et demie' (1979) by the Congolese writer Sony Labou Tansi depicts the throes of the people of a fictional republic who suffer from the ruthless and irresponsible misgovernment of their country by successive dictatorial regimes. 'La vie et demie' tells a story of political oppression and resistance to totalitarianism, but equally important is the way in which the story is told. By identifying his book with a fable, that is, withdrawn from reality, Labou Tansi seeks to shelter his political engagement in a conceptual world whose reference to the real world, though obvious, remains implicit. Furthermore, 'La vie et demie' illustrates the unavailing efforts to try to limit the freedom of individuals in and through language. It transpires from the text that the language in which the discourse of power is couched backfires against the very people who exercise political power. With respect to the ultimate impossibility to curb meaning and interpretation, the present paper examines some of the figurative strategies and linguistic devices that Sony Labou Tansi puts into play in 'La vie et demie'. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]