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Une etude de l'évolution du concept d’ afropolitanisme dans une selection de trois romans d' Alain Mabancko.

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This dissertation provides insight into the concept of Afropolitanism by means of a detailed critical analysis of three novels from the pen of the francophone author, Alain Mabanckou, himself an Afropolitan. The three novels are African Psycho (2003), Black Bazaar (2009) and Petit Piment (2015). The date of publication of these novels, at equidistant intervals, is considered relevant, as is the fact that the three trace the geographical passage of Mabanckou’s life. It is primarily a literary analysis of the cited texts which seeks to evaluate the extent to which the construct that is Afropolitanism shows evidence of evolution within the parameters of the time frame encompassed by the novels. The protagonist of African Psycho is consumed with the hatred of the victim mentality of the post-colonial years prior to Afropolitanism, but the links with American Psycho and its lack of insistence on genealogy suggest the stirrings of the first movement of Afropolitanism as defined by Achille Mbembe. The world of Black Bazaar is the sociable, cosmopolitan life of a witty and worldly protagonist attempting to eke out an existence in Paris, whereas Petit Piment returns us to Africa, and the confusion of identity on the part of the narrator. Afropolitanism as a concept will be explored as part of a continuum of African identity perspectives, these being : Negritude, Pan Africanism, Post Colonialism, Migritude and Littérature- Monde. The dissertation relies almost exclusively on the definition of Afropolitanism as formulated by the social philosopher, Achille Mbembe. He identifies two movements of Afropolitanism, the first commencing circa 1970 and the second around the debut of the 21st Century. Throughout the dissertation the consideration of Alain Mabanckou as an Afropolitan has been identified as of vital importance, this coupled with the fact that he, himself, acknowledges the role of auto-fiction in his literary works. The world of the Afropolitan is, thus, considered to be reflected to a greater or lesser degree in his fictional writing. His choice of narrative and manner of narration, as well as depiction of his protagonists, display noteworthy differences across the three novels. This is deemed relevant to the hypothesis that the novels give an indication of an evolution within the framework of what it means to be an Afropolitan.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu- Natal, Durban.