Emile lAfricain (Littérature Française) (French Edition)

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Ngando's imagined colonial city stands out as a site of contrasts and contradictions. However, the duplicated model shows the "transformability" of the new space into "normalcy" by a subversive native. Discourses of hegemony and compliance. Several postcolonial discourses describe colonization as a process of invention, whereby under the false pretense of philanthropy, aimed at imposing the will of a conquering West on non-European societies caught behind the curve of progress Said, Mudimbe, Glissant, Hall.

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The will to power , conjugated with the growing need to secure natural resources for accelerating the industrialization of Europe, served as the catalyst for an enterprise that self-assigned a humanitarian objective of discovering, classifying, taming, and ultimately civilizing the new. Nevertheless, to highlight this disconnect between the stated aim and the action taken colonization , one can mention Joseph Conrad's short story "An outpost of progress" and the Cameroonian filmmaker Jean-Marie Teno's The Colonial Misunderstanding The latter is a documentary film analyzing the evangelization process of the Herero people of Namibia and its long lasting aftermath by German missionaries from the town of Wupperthal.

Both describe a chaotic atmosphere generated by the so-called the "White man's burden. The paper aims at interrogating generally accepted assumptions from which critical assessments draw their conclusions.

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In describing the colonial enterprise, the classical model reflects a binary opposition grounded in a power matrix where inequalities and therefore the direction of the discourse would evolve in one anticipated way. In conflict with this widely accepted belief, it is my contention that, although this model reflected what was conceptually the intended finality, the native's reactions did not necessarily follow the planned trajectory. The focus will exclusively be on the first work. The main argument will evolve in three parts. The first will describe the imagined colonial site as a space of contrasts.

The second part will highlight the "transformability" of the native's perception of the new space and the principal values sanctioning the new "normalcy" through anthropological writing. From the elements foisted upon communities, new claims through lived experience become the basis for inclusion or exclusion. The third part will identify elements of contradiction that the native's gaze detected and the impact the new situation had in fostering new ideals, communal objectives, and the optimization of another web of social interactions. Inhospitable land uncovered. Throughout history, the thick forest area covering central Africa, the Congo, was deemed inimical to the human mind, and therefore largely described as unusually empty.

Several studies and writings have underlined the primeval chaotic space in need of alteration Herodotus, Henry Stanley, Christopher Miller and Joseph Conrad or have made a descriptive assessment to denounce the unusual metaphor for instance the authors Michael Crichton, V.

Of these individuals, none deserves more attention than Stanley and Conrad, two pioneers whose names, deeds, and souvenirs remain closely related to the existence of the Congo as a modern state as much as to the metaphor of chaos that has been construed as inherent to this African nation. The centuries of warnings to avoid contact with Central Africa gave room to a new description of a space in great need of domestication.

In the 19 th century, almost overnight, it had become a duty for enlightened Europe to bring into the fold this area by destroying as much as possible the barriers that had kept it far behind. Rudyard Kipling's poem "The White Man's Burden" summarizes this claim of enlightened Europe to take care of African natives or other natives under her wings:. Send forth the best ye breed - Go bind your sons to exile To serve your captives' need; To wait in heavy harness, On fluttered folk and wild - Your new-caught, sullen peoples, Half-devil and half-child.

Take up the White Man's burden - In patience to abide, To veil the threat of terror And check the show of pride; By open speech and simple, An hundred times made plain To seek another 's profit, And work another's gain. Kipling With "half-devil and half-child" creatures, the Congo or the inside, mysterious and impenetrable, was virtually a chaos that needed transformation and rearrangement out of philanthropic necessity for the benefit of both the native and humankind. However, explorers penetrated into the inland and witnessed a reality far removed from ideas of horror upheld by the Western imagination.

Occasionally, and this experience gave way to a switch in perception to the extent that the lush landscape was no longer as alienating as it came progressively to be discovered. On Stanley's second journey in the heart of the Congo, the crew of Zanzibari porters, marveled at the extraordinary wealth before their eyes as they sailed on the river, are portrayed as deeply astonished by the display of riches:.

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When sailing on the Congo, Stanley had discovered a vibrant Atlantic trade outgrowth operating on the river using canoes - a specimen is in the Tervuren Museum - large enough to hold one hundred men in addition to heavy cargo. The Bobangi and the Boloki, two ethnic groups he came across with, had given up fishing to devote themselves to the Atlantic trade with a reasonable degree of success in organizing profitable networks in the Congo basin. The notion of emptiness or terra nullius did no longer make sense since explorers, to their great amazement, found deep into the interior a web of communities of which the majority were bursting with energy and whose agreements, symbolic or otherwise, were eagerly sought after to lay claims to these new lands at the behest of European powers.

On that second journey on the Congo, Stanley brought back to Europe four hundred treaties signed by local chiefs Nelson Yet, if the interior was not empty, practice lagged behind theory and Europeans acted as if they had docked at a deserted island to which anyone could lay claim: discovering people, renaming them, and re-landscaping the terrain on the natives' behalf. Ambivalence surrounded the judgment about the new lands and their inhabitants: faceless and yet with definite Negroid features; empty and yet suppliers of raw materials; blank and yet a place of countless hues and complexions.

Discovery then becomes the threshold marking the initial point from which a center would find its meaning and rearrange the overlays. Writings in the colonial mode became fashionable and desirable thanks to an avid readership hungry for exoticism. The other writer worth mentioning is Joseph Conrad whose Heart of Darkness , certainly a kind of colonial text, remains one of the literary works to have generated heated debates on the colonial phenomenon, its dubious ideological foundation, and the issue of alterity.

In the novel, the steamer Le Roi des Belges turns into an exploratory vessel that allows Marlow to relay to his audience what his sight discovers, experiences, and comes across. The landscape his eyes uncover unfolds and displays the abrasiveness of the primal existence. Sailing upstream the big river turns into a slow discovery of anti-human scenery that blurs vision and disables other senses with the brutalities of the world's dawn: "The reaches opened before us and closed behind, as if the forest had stepped leisurely across the water to bar the way for our return.

We penetrated deeper and deeper into the heart of darkness. It was very quiet there. The march towards progress should proceed unimpeded through a transformative performance of the space. The spatial archetype to allow salvation relies on several poles among which a Christian mission, that is, a site that brings a new order in space, social hierarchy, and epistemology.

Now, claims of absence of order called for or induced the outside gaze to formulate a new agenda and a system of dispensation. The perception of the city is one that will emerge out of the colonial foundation while casting the shadow on earlier values, operational processes, and claimed ownership. From exoticism to the anthropological appeal. However, the quasi-unanimous desire to celebrate with national pride overseas goodwill deeds triggered a flood of publications. Literary writings followed the two major trends that not only accompanied colonization as a historical event, but also mimicked the main ideological schools of the time.

In spite of their differences, both evolved with a pronounced ethnological desire to probe, grasp, and ultimately control the new dominion. To that effect, Silvia Riva 23 testifies in her most recent book Nouvelle histoire de la literature du Congo-Kinshasa as follows: "Since the end of the 19 th century, there is a rise of an 'ethnological' literature across the greatest portion of the continent, which, if, on the one hand, allowed the preservation and the salvaging of the most ancient and most popular texts, but also, on the other hand, partially restricted the creative freedom of the first writers.

The same was true on the language level where a tradition to write about the Congo rose both in French and in Dutch.

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In principle, even if better knowledge brought changes in the concept about space, the trusteeship was supposed to go only to the enlightened ones - those initiated in the Western know-how - since these tools and epistemological baggage have produced stunning results. Prior to these pioneers, some voices illustrate the expectation to showcase compliance, or, on the contrary, to display differences. Nele Marian was a biracial Congolese woman born in Lisala from a Belgian father and a Congolese mother.

She lived in the Equateur Province before moving to Belgium where she spent the rest of her life.

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De l'Expansion Coloniale, , her poetry collection displays an ideological bent for the natives unusual for her time, an approach that defied the dualistic nature of the colonial society by its use of anti-slavery stand reminiscent of the negritude movement. The fact that she bore a European family name is a testimony to her high social standing in a Belgian Congo that unambiguously tolerated a de facto apartheid situation.

At a close examination, Marian's choice through literary engagement to side with the natives in laying claims to her Congolese roots may sound out of place in a Congo where the natives, although considered Belgian subjects, could not enjoy the most basic rights of a citizen. Although thin, her literary themes are rooted in the African landscape nourished by the majestic Grand River as she expresses in the lullaby "Kalinga.

In the Big river swims a hippotamus We row And we send to each shore A soft refrain of our songs. Because we have to serve a master We prefer To endlessly row instead of being A house servant Marian 7. Despite her privileges, Marian emphatically claims Congo to be her home and Congolese culture her identity foundation. We always insist on the fusion between Belgium and the Congo. By law, the Congo and Belgium make one state. We would wish to see Africans given the freedom to travel to the Metropole Belgium. The fee, which amounts to 50, francs, ought to go down.

Nothing should prevent Blacks to work in Belgium, it they wish to. The climate is not a plausible reason to reject this demand. Even for university education, Black parents should have the freedom to let their children be educated in Belgian universities of their choice Bolamba Although the question about Marian's true thinking remains valid and relevant in trying to find out her mindset, her feelings nevertheless led to express herself in a tone supportive of the Congo's plight, the predicament, and the future.

As many critics have argued, the identity of Badibanga remains up to these days elusive, and at best an object of hollow speculations. Did Badibanga really exist? Assuming he existed, did he really write the work that won the prize? Like in Marian's case, would it be legitimate to ask whether the name hides a highly motivated individual or an entire organization standing for a cause? In an anosmatic twist, the choice of such a common name could point to the communal character of the tale, thus inferring collective responsibility rather than individual authorship to assess creativity.

It puts in a marriage of convenience African cultures and Anthropological centers with in between interested parties such as missionaries and colonial administrators. In a large framework, it does not matter who the real author was. What deserves attention is the eagerness to showcase the performing native to testify to the validity of the colonial enterprise's objectives.

The name of Badibanga translates the colonial desire of duplicating cultural elements to prove to the main mission. The same objective accounts for other shadow authors behind whom labored pens held, not by Congolese individuals, but by Belgian subjects among whom missionaries.

In the same way, a close analysis shows that anthropological writings evolved in three different directions determined by the political and social context of the writer. First, they followed a subservient path reflective of the colonial project to showcase native culture and subsequently highlight the progress registered over time. Secondly, they attempted through several linguistic devices to produce ambiguous assessments questioning the main ideology. The third direction evolved as an independent activity that appropriated a Western medium to produce a counter-discourse to affirm the newness of the citizen's subjectivity.

As it had happened earlier in other colonies, there was a clear anticipation to see Congolese, especially those educated, write in French, and by the same token open up their worlds to the outside reader. Claims of the urbanized space: Tchibamba's Ngando Ngando marks a new era that goes beyond the anthropological interest in claiming ownership of the newly transformed society.

It is at this juncture that Paul Lomami Tchibamba stands, at a location where Franz Fanon, in writing about national culture, situates the retelling of old stories - here pre-colonial Congo - within the confines of present temporality: "The storyteller who used to relate inert episodes now brings them alive and introduces in them modifications which are increasingly fundamental " Fanon , my emphasis.

Naming the past as reminiscent of the colonial or even the present conditions raises highbrows on the assumption that it brings forth some anachronisms discordant with the moment. However, in a context of lacks and wants, linking epochs in such an apparently contrived way is a strategy to evoke the future in "recalling and reanimating a certain past" Radhakrishnan Consequently, the attempt turns into a dialectical process that ultimately switches the terms by historicizing the present.

Ngando , a Mongo tale transcribed in French, constitutes a landmark of the early writings by native authors during the colonial times. The retelling of the Ngando myth within a context heavily determined by the arrival of the Western culture inaugurates an area of co -existence of two elements in a framework of new conditions and constraints. Kinshasa becomes a world whose heartbeat does not only rhyme to the tune of the African beat, but also to several material, cultural, or ideological elements that now define the urbanized space from within and from without along a series of registers such as a new economic order, trade, culture, and other identification attributes.

In this sense, Ngando , the new tale, is inscribed in this ambivalent framework determined by the encounter between Africa and Europe. Within this re-appropriation, lay several main elements worth examining, such as the lingering of the colonial duality, the native's claim to the transformed space, the domination of a monetary economy as the only path to progress, and a new grid of social interactions.

Kinshasa stands out as a space bursting at the seams with the new trade and commercial activities. In linking Europe and the African hinterland through the majestic corridor that the Congo River constitutes, it acts as the main node that metaphorically regulates the mood of interaction and the degree of success between these two partners thrown into a marriage of convenience. Ngando 's Kinshasa evolved from a hamlet into a roaring commercial center that the economic prowess makes a strategic foothold linking up Europe, the metropole, and the Congolese wilderness, the coveted land for its mineral and agricultural resources.

The "retold" tale foregrounds a city of Kinshasa that completely fits the description of a subservient relay in a grand economic scheme meant to expand Europe's economic capacity at the expense of the newly discovered land.

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The vital abundance characteristic of the port of "Kinshasa" gives full justification to the colonial operation launched initially as a humanitarian assistance to save scores of humans beings fallen victims to greed, ignorance, and fraternal warfare. The city was not only the launching pad into the inimical inland, but also the gateway to its many facets, shades, and dimensions of things hidden in nature's thickness, therefore undisclosed to Europe's rescuing eyes. At first, the traditional hamlet or trade-post undergoes a radical transformation.

The split between the new center and the traditional space becomes progressively established as the recent facet grows into a mboka ya mindele the land of white people, Tchibamba Fundamental communication remains vitalized by the metaphorical link "Congolia" that joins both cities on the Big River. Abundance and vitality create a relaxed atmosphere of this nascent port city by foreshadowing vast economic dividends from the site:.

Kinshasa as an invented space marked by the colonial intent of differentiation, duplicating, and co-optation carried within itself the dualistic pulse that underlies the colonial ideology. This is rooted less in the nature of relationships between individuals and community - kinship, friendship, and association - than in one's position and attitude towards what the civilization mission entails.

The world consists of two complementary and yet distinctive parts: the Europeans and the Africans.

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The interaction between the two groups occurs within parameters heavily determined by the position on the labor scale if you were a native, and on the economic class - here the line between class and race is blurred. Bato ya belesi , or the people from Belgium, acquired legitimacy as those who have appropriated the space Tchibamba Political and economic clout derived directly from racial identification collapsed into one single privilege no one could easily disentangle. In other words, residing within the city limits was undoubtedly construed in ontological terms.

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The alterization of the native, although apprehended in terms of location, was almost exclusively legitimized in racial characterization. All Maalouf's librettos have been written for the Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Amin Maalouf.

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Emile lAfricain (Littérature Française) (French Edition) Emile lAfricain (Littérature Française) (French Edition)
Emile lAfricain (Littérature Française) (French Edition) Emile lAfricain (Littérature Française) (French Edition)
Emile lAfricain (Littérature Française) (French Edition) Emile lAfricain (Littérature Française) (French Edition)
Emile lAfricain (Littérature Française) (French Edition) Emile lAfricain (Littérature Française) (French Edition)
Emile lAfricain (Littérature Française) (French Edition) Emile lAfricain (Littérature Française) (French Edition)
Emile lAfricain (Littérature Française) (French Edition) Emile lAfricain (Littérature Française) (French Edition)
Emile lAfricain (Littérature Française) (French Edition) Emile lAfricain (Littérature Française) (French Edition)
Emile lAfricain (Littérature Française) (French Edition) Emile lAfricain (Littérature Française) (French Edition)
Emile lAfricain (Littérature Française) (French Edition)

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