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On the Aesthetics of Mimicry and Proliferation : Interrogations of Hegemony in the Postcolonial Public Sphere

Title data

Ndi, Gilbert Shang:
On the Aesthetics of Mimicry and Proliferation : Interrogations of Hegemony in the Postcolonial Public Sphere.
In: English in Africa. Vol. 44 (2017) Issue 2 .
ISSN 0376-8902
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4314/eia.v44i2.4

Abstract in another language

This article examines innovative modes of interrogating spectacles of State power in postcolonial dictatorship novels. Authoritarian power in the postcolonial public sphere perpetuates itself through practices that reiterate the prerogatives of State reason, national progress, national unity and the indispensability of the potentate. All these are mobilized and deployed in order to produce indocile subjects socialised by dominant ideologies. Given that discourses of resistance have often ended up re-enacting modes of hegemonic power, authors employ tactics of resistance based on slender narrative and non-totalizing subversive acts that nevertheless constitute an unsettling menace to symbolic fabrics of dictatorial power. Using the theoretical approaches elaborated by Achille Mbembe, Homi K. Bhabha and Michel de Certeau, this paper examines narrative deconstructive practices that aim at opening up the postcolonial public sphere for the expression of marginal voices without endowing literary texts with explicit political teleologies. Examples are taken from the novels of Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Sony Labou Tansi, Ahmadou Kourouma and Garcia Marquez. The article concludes that subversive reactions to postcolonial State power thrive on a threatening hybridity and a subversive collocation of significations like profanity/mythology, banality/exceptionality, life/death, laughter/lamentation that find their valence in the context of excessive and pervasive State power.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: public sphere; mimicry; resistance; hybridity
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Languages and Literature
Faculties > Faculty of Languages and Literature > Chair Romance Languages and Comparative Literature > Chair Romance Languages and Comparative Literature - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Ute Fendler
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 800 Literature > 890 Other literatures
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2020 13:13
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2020 13:13
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/58725