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The Coltan Novel : Narrating the Congolese Saga in In Koli Jean Bofane's Congo Inc.: Le testament de Bismarck

Title data

Ndi, Gilbert Shang:
The Coltan Novel : Narrating the Congolese Saga in In Koli Jean Bofane's Congo Inc.: Le testament de Bismarck.
In: L'Érudit franco-espagnol. (2020) Issue 14 . - pp. 56-73.
ISSN 2167-8340

Official URL: Volltext

Abstract in another language

The Congo has consistently been a subject of wide-ranging historical and creative productions aimed at capturing its dramatic history. This has often led to the submersion of Congolese voices under exogenous and exotic depictions of Congolese realities in ways that position the Congolese subject and space as the other, void of complexity and possibility. In Koli Jean Bofane (1954) belongs to a generation of Congolese authors who “write the Congo” from within, through an inventive sensibility, an insightful worldview, and an unsettling style aimed at representing the paradoxes of the nation’s trajectory. Bofane hails from the Congolese Equateur province, a fact which perhaps explains his affinity with Isookanga, the protagonist of Congo Inc. (2014). He spent his childhood and youth in the Congo before settling in Belgium in 1993. After a series of literary works that earned him modest recognition, he rose to literary fame with the publication of Mathématiques congolaises (2008), which won the Grand prix littéraire de l’Afrique noire in 2009 and has been translated into various international languages. His award-winning novel has already marked a distinctive voice among the flurry and cacophony of representations inspired by the specific history of the Congo, a voice which is given a new profundity in Congo Inc., the text under study. The present article discusses the complexity of the Congo as represented in Congo Inc., analyzing the Congolese territory as the interface of the violent dimensions of globalization. I discuss the process through which Congo Inc. converts the ambiguous coexistence of scarcity and excess in the Congo into not only a unique text, but also into the creation of a new narrative genre which I refer to as the coltan novel.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Congo; violence; networks; coltan; hedonism; war; aesthetics
Institutions of the University: 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 13:45
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2020 13:45
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/58729