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Présence Francophone: Revue internationale de langue et de littérature

Abstract

The text examines the status and the role of “prefacial” discourse in the contemporary African novel (Henri Lopes, Valentin Mudimbe and Sony Labou Tansi). While up until recently the preface served to legitimize the text, introducing its author and allowing him to occupy a position, since the 1980s, the para-text (in this case a warning), assumed by the authors themselves, renders itself opaque, becoming a poetic issue and presenting a reflection of the enunciative device, repeatedly putting forward the idea of writing as constant prodding, dread and denial. This questioning, in its own way, defines a grouping of discursive strategies open to historical and institutional interpretation. What a certain critic considers to be fantasy and chaos attributed to a lack of reference points in an Africa disorientated by dictators and misery, presents itself as an urgent call; itself the illusion and simulation or even the impression of sense in order to involve the cooperation of the reader.

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