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Grayson, Hannah
Languages: English
Types: Doctoral thesis
Subjects: PQ
This thesis explores the published work of Tierno Monénembo, Guinean author born in 1947. The main themes are space and narrative, and precisely how subjects creatively employ both. The thesis argues that Monénembo presents a reconfiguration of African subjecthood by centralising nomad subjects: characters who are wily débrouillards, ever on the move and ready to (re)invent both space and self. In a series of postcolonial rewritings, Monénembo reframes subjects beyond notions of race or victimhood. Their practices of invention are grounded in contexts rendered precarious and unstable by chains of violence and multiple losses, and the author represents these spaces in innovative language in several genres.\ud \ud Mobility, or its absence, determines the themes, characterisation, and language in each of Monénembo’s texts. It is addressed here via a number of contexts which position him within ongoing debates around historicisation, identity, and power in the postcolonial world. Chapter One looks at imperialism and the re-writing of history via Le Roi de Kahel and Peuls. In Chapter Two I explore dictatorship and the conflicting discourses which vie for space around it: the texts under examination are Les Crapauds-brousse and Les Écailles du ciel. In Chapter Three I discuss writing after genocide and other trauma. In comparing L’Aîné des orphelins to Cinéma and La Tribu des gonzesses I find common trends of performative storytelling which mark out Monénembo’s protagonists as self-inventing survivors. The final main chapter groups together four exile texts to assess the effects of rupture and loss on language and space. Reading Un Rêve utile, Un Attiéké pour Elgass, Pelourinho and Le Terroriste noir reveals the creative agency at work in Monénembo’s dislocated nomad subjects. A number of theoretical anchor points help to frame these studies and for these I draw on the work of Michel de Certeau, Achille Mbembe, and Patrice Nganang, among others. The thesis is concluded with a look at Monénembo in his own words as I draw together my predominant observations alongside his autobiographical comments. \ud

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