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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Kourouma, the myth: the rhetoric of the commonplace in Kourouma criticism
Author:Ndiaye, ChristianeISNI
Periodical:Research in African Literatures
Geographic term:Ivory Coast - Côte d'Ivoire
Subjects:literary criticism
About person:Ahmadou Kourouma (1927-2003)ISNI
External link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/research_in_african_literatures/v038/38.2ndiaye.pdf
Abstract:In winning so many prestigious literary prizes on the international scene, Ahmadou Kourouma (Côte d'Ivoire) achieved in his lifetime what most African writers can only dream of: notoriety, superstardom, impressive book sales, a mythical stature. This study examines the underpinnings of Kourouma's status by analyzing the scholarly and journalistic reception of his works as inventoried through Otto Klapp's bibliography (Bibliographie d'histoire littéraire française) since 2000. It offers an important background for better understanding the rhetoric that sustains the myth while raising very interesting guiding questions. For if Kourouma is elevated to the rank of 'Great Innovator of literature', is he read as such, and does this 'revolution' in African letters that he embodies also extend to critical discourse? When the novelist writes 'differently', is the reader (general or scholarly) inclined and obliged to read differently? What has been the consequence on Kourouma's writings of the spectacular reversal from a Eurocentric view of African literature to an Afrocentric perspective? Have Kourouma's works not suffered paradoxically from the laudatory scholarly reception because of its overemphasis on realism and truthfulness? Is the truth discourse, which feeds such reception, not contributing to minimizing the literariness of Kourouma's writings? Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]