Original Research

Grotesque manifestations of power in Dance of the vampires by Bole Butake

Naomi Nkealah
Literator | Vol 34, No 1 | a415 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v34i1.415 | © 2013 Naomi Nkealah | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 December 2012 | Published: 03 May 2013

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Naomi Nkealah, Department of Languages, University of Limpopo, Turfloop Campus, South Africa

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This article is an analysis of Dance of the vampires by Cameroonian playwright, Bole Butake. It looked at how the play projects itself as a narrative of the nation and, conversely, how the nation in the play functions as a narrative text on which ideologies of power are inscribed or expunged. Butake’s vision of the nation encompasses various discourses of power that are explored against the backdrop of the grotesque in systems of domination, as enunciated by Achille Mbembe. This article argues that whilst the play hinges on the ambivalence in power relations, the writer’s vision is un-ambivalent in its utopian conception of political change and its gendered representation of women within nationalist discourses.


Grotesque; Analysis; Butake; Vampires; Gender


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