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Abstract

While for some Maghrebi authors, French represented a language imposed by colonization, for others, it was an opportunity for emancipation, giving them the chance to express themselves and establish themselves as writers in the literary world. In his autobiographical novel Tattooed Memory (1971), Moroccan writer Abdelkébir Khatibi showed ways to reconcile the divided identities that inhabit him. Using the novel’s incipit and its distinct “Maghrebization” of French, this subchapter shows ways in which Maghrebi authors expressing the Self in French have tried to connect all their Selves and transform them into a convincing authorial gesture.

Open Access
In: Centers and Peripheries in Romance Language Literatures in the Americas and Africa
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Abstract

This subchapter characterizes the deperipheralization dynamics of three American Francophone spaces: Quebec, Haiti, and Martinique, including the fundamental differences among them resulting from anthropological and historical constraints. The analyses trace a number of constants: the evolution of language and authority over language, the building of public institutions (schools and universities, theaters, libraries), the development of magazine and book markets (periodicals, book publishing, criticism), and the impact of deperipheralization processes on aesthetics and aesthetic concepts. In this comparison of these three Francophone literary fields, differences among them are highlighted: Quebec literature has constituted its own centrality and has become a reference absorption point for a number of peripheries; regarding the autonomy of Haitian literature, the field remains somewhat fragmented among Haiti, Quebec, the USA and France; Martinique and Antillean literature, which is asserted mainly within the framework of Parisian centrality as a specific part of the French understanding of Francophonie, appears to be the least autonomous.

Open Access
In: Centers and Peripheries in Romance Language Literatures in the Americas and Africa

Abstract

This subchapter presents a brief outline of Angolan and Mozambican literatures of the 20th century. The focus is on major literary movements, authors and works as well as a number of contemporary tendencies.

Open Access
In: Centers and Peripheries in Romance Language Literatures in the Americas and Africa

Abstract

This subchapter investigates the deperipheralization of Cuban-American aesthetics by analyzing Achy Obejas’ novel Memory Mambo. The analysis demonstrates the importance of the 1959 Cuban Revolution, which symbolized a rupture leading to the creation of new aesthetic and literary practices. In the context of both US Latinx literature and Cuban insular literature, Cuban-American literature is situated within the transnational republic of letters. Drawing on this interpretation of this novel, it could be argued that both its thematics and poetics display the deperipheralization of the Cuban-American novel within the US literary space.

Open Access
In: Centers and Peripheries in Romance Language Literatures in the Americas and Africa

Abstract

This contribution focuses on the reflection of the Caribbean diaspora in the novel Levente no. Yolayorkdominicanyork by the New York-based Dominican artist Josefina Báez. This performative text recreates scenes from the everyday life of a group of Latina women who inhabit a house called Ni é in a Hispanic neighborhood in NYC. At the same time, this place works as a metaphor for a glocal community. The text is studied in relation to postcolonial debates regarding center and periphery as well as the concept of thirdspace. Defined as a radically open space in which communities can develop new principles liberated from the binary categories of identity, thirdspace presents a conceptual grounding attractive for feminist authors such as bell hooks, Gloria Anzaldúa, Diana Fuss and the Spanish economist Amaia Pérez Orozco.

Open Access
In: Centers and Peripheries in Romance Language Literatures in the Americas and Africa
Author:

Abstract

This closing chapter highlights a number of points arising from the comparisons and contrasts made in this monograph regarding the different (and as we have seen, intersecting) literary fields and various deperipheralization processes. The issues discussed relate to 1. differences in linguistic differentiation and multilingualism; 2. differences in decolonization and deperipheralization processes; 3. the complex hierarchization of center-periphery relations between/ among cultural complexes; 4. the complex hierarchization of center-periphery relations within cultural complexes; 5. globalization and its relationship to Weltliteratur.

Open Access
In: Centers and Peripheries in Romance Language Literatures in the Americas and Africa

Abstract

In Écrire la « parole de nuit ». La nouvelle littérature antillaise (1994), René Depestre embraces certain principles of the Creoleness movement as enshrined in the manifest by Bernabé, Chamoiseau and Confiant in Éloge de la créolité/ In Praise of Creoleness. Selected dimensions of “créolité” are highlighted in two novels by René Depestre Alléluia pour une femme-jardin (1981; Hallelujah for a Woman-Garden, 1995) and Hadriana dans tous mes rêves (1988; Hadriana in all my dreams, 2017), as well as in four novels by Patrick Chamoiseau Chronique des sept misères (1986; Chronicle of the Seven Sorrows, 1999), Solibo Magnifique (1988; Solibo Magnificent, 1999), Texaco (1992; English translation 1997) and L’Esclave vieil homme et le Molosse (1997; Slave Old Man, 2018). The analyses prominently feature the figure of the narrator. The study also aims to present the creolisms, compounds, and neologisms used by Chamoiseau and to compare them with the Haitian expressions of Depestre’s novels. The relation to Creoles and the so-called “French norm” of the center will be explored. The language and center-periphery relationship of René Depestre is compared to the perspectives of Patrick Chamoiseau, through which the attitudes towards the literary center of each author are contrasted.

Open Access
In: Centers and Peripheries in Romance Language Literatures in the Americas and Africa

Abstract

The chapter presents key particularities and historical events within the deperipheralization of Spanish-American Literature. It deals with the lack of cohesion in the Hispanic-American literary field (and the tension between a continental and a national conception of literature), the exceptionally close relations between literature and politics, and the role Latin American literature has played in the cultural shift of the universities in the USA. In the second part, the development of center-periphery dynamics from the early 19th century until today is contextualized and examined, with particular attention devoted to the process of emancipation from Spain, the creation of national imagery, the modernismo movement, the so-called Boom and the contemporary situation in the globalized neoliberal world.

Open Access
In: Centers and Peripheries in Romance Language Literatures in the Americas and Africa

Abstract

This subchapter focuses on the literary production of Brazilian indigenous authors, a relatively recent phenomenon related to the achievement of greater political and social rights by native peoples throughout the country. The central question of the subchapter revolves around a reflection on how the works of indigenous authors that began to appear on the shelves of Brazilian bookstores in the 1990s resist interpretation by traditional concepts of Western literature. In order to begin to understand indigenous literature in its full complexity, it is necessary to appreciate it as a broader cultural manifestation, of which we are also a part.

Open Access
In: Centers and Peripheries in Romance Language Literatures in the Americas and Africa

Abstract

The assimilation system established in the French-African colonial empire was meant to create recognizable exemplaires of French Citizens out of local populations. As decolonization was ending and in the years that followed, early postcolonial theories began to identify and examine these cultural and identity alienation processes. The first generation of anticolonial novelists influenced by this reaction to the French-African colonial empire also came to prominence during this period. The chapter explores the context of this process and how this particular generation of writers reflects it.

Open Access
In: Centers and Peripheries in Romance Language Literatures in the Americas and Africa