Original Research

Dans l’esprit de Rome : le marginalisé de l’Histoire chez les romanciers contemporains ou comment retrouver l’universel par la petite histoire

Bernard De Meyer
Literator | Vol 41, No 1 | a1727 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v41i1.1727 | © 2020 Bernard De Meyer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 June 2020 | Published: 21 December 2020

About the author(s)

Bernard De Meyer, School of Arts, College of Humanities, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa


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Abstract

For the past fifteen years or so, a number of French-speaking African authors have included characters in their novels that have been marginalized by official historiography. Based on solid research, these texts shed new light on history and on the role that Africans have played. Rather than seeing it as an epiphenomenon of the French-speaking literature from Africa, this article will indicate that this mode of writing is situated in the light of the resolutions of the Second Congress of Black Writers and Artists held in Rome (1959). One of the ambitions of the Congress was to attain the universal, and literature was an essential tool to do so. After reflecting on the context in which this new wave emerged, the article will focus on the language of writing, the choice of protagonist, the relationship between archives, history and memory, as well as the status of the narrator. Using original processes, each novel is situated in the spirit of the Congress of Rome through the desire to (re)discover history from an African point of view and attain the universal.

Keywords

Second Congress of Black Writers and Artists; contemporary Francophone literature from Africa; marginalized historic figures; history; universal

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