Boubacar Boris Diop’s literary work comprises an important metapoetical dimension that constantly questions the entire writing process. From the first novel, Le Temps de Tamango, a mise en abyme of the writing is caught in the fold of both its elaboration and in the dialogue with another text, Mérimée’s Tamango. After that inaugural work, whose construction Mongo Beti deemed an admirable ‘aesthetic experimentation’, the following novels never ceased returning to the topic, classic and inexhaustible, of the meaning, and not only the means, of literary writing. From one novel to the next, the reader recognizes some recurring concerns, such as the relationship between fiction and reality (especially political history) and the effect of literature on its actors. Through these considerations, Boubacar Boris Diop seems to explore the literary crisis against the backdrop of the political crisis of the era of independence. However, this is not the investigation of a sociologist, but that of a creator of fiction. Hence, the title of this contribution can be read in two complementary ways. On the one hand, it is the trace of the subtle move from the literary question (as it marks out an issue of the written production), to the work as a result and reflection of this production. On the other hand, it is also the study of how this literary question, shifted within the work by the means of the mise en abyme, reveals itself problematic and fecund, thus allowing a broader approach to the role of literature in postcolonial African societies.
|Translated title of the contribution||From the literary question to the work: Metapoetic aspects of the fictional work of Boubacar Boris Diop|
|Number of pages||16|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2019|