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Veneration and Desecration in Calixthe Beyala's "La petite fille du réverbère"

Augustine H. Asaah
Research in African Literatures
Vol. 36, No. 4 (Winter, 2005), pp. 155-171
Published by: Indiana University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3821386
Page Count: 17
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Veneration and Desecration in Calixthe Beyala's "La petite fille du réverbère"
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Abstract

The Franco-Cameroonian novelist Calixthe Beyala has, in recent years, made, a name for herself as a radical feminist novelist. Her anti-patriarchal and anti-establishment attack takes on an obsessively sacred coloration in her eighth novel, "La petite fille du rèverbère", for, while venerating herself, Grandmother, and earth-bound Africa, she systematically desecrates what appears to her as incarnations of the inimical hydra-headed Father: imperialists, negligent genitor, opportunistic fathers, Fathers-of-Nation, sexual taboos, the sky-God, and literary critics who accuse her of plagiarism. Using as a point of departure the notions of the sacred embedded in collective and contemporary consciousness, the essay examines the dual process of sanctification and profanation at work in the novel.

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