From Francophonie to World Literature in French


From Francophonie to World Literature in French

Ethics, Poetics, and Politics

Thérèse Migraine-George

296 pages


December 2013


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March 2020


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eBook (PDF)
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December 2013


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About the Book

In 2007 the French newspaper Le Monde published a manifesto titled “Toward a ‘World Literature’ in French,” signed by forty-four writers, many from France’s former colonies. Proclaiming that the francophone label encompassed people who had little in common besides the fact that they all spoke French, the manifesto’s proponents, the so-called francophone writers themselves, sought to energize a battle cry against the discriminatory effects and prescriptive claims of francophonie.

In one of the first books to study the movement away from the term “francophone” to “world literature in French,” Thérèse Migraine-George engages a literary analysis of contemporary works in exploring the tensions and theoretical debates surrounding world literature in French. She focuses on works by a diverse group of contemporary French-speaking writers who straddle continents—Nina Bouraoui, Hélène Cixous, Maryse Condé, Marie NDiaye, Tierno Monénembo, and Lyonel Trouillot. What these writers have in common beyond their use of French is their resistance to the centralizing power of a language, their rejection of exclusive definitions, and their claim for creative autonomy.

Author Bio

Thérèse Migraine-George is an associate professor in the department of Romance languages and literatures at the University of Cincinnati. She is the author of African Women and Representation: From Performance to Politics and two books in French.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Francophonie and Littérature-Monde, Friends or Foes?
1. Writing as Mimicry: Tierno Monénembo’s Colonial Avatar
2. Writing as Desire: Nina Bouraoui and Hélène Cixous
3. Writing as Otherness: Marie NDiaye’s Inalterable Humanity
4. Writing as Explosion: Maryse Condé’s Transnational Textual
5. Writing as Remembering: Lyonel Trouillot on Love and Haiti
Conclusion: Toward a Literature of Mobility and Hospitality

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