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Discourse in Kourouma's Novels: Writing Two Languages to Translate Two Realities

Amadou Koné
Research in African Literatures
Vol. 38, No. 2 (Summer, 2007), pp. 109-123
Published by: Indiana University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4618378
Page Count: 15
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Discourse in Kourouma's Novels: Writing Two Languages to Translate Two Realities
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Abstract

Ahmadou Kourouma's emergence as a writer in the late 1960s meant that his first novel would be read in the context of the dominant literary prism of the time with most of the criticism devoted to aspects of literary sociology and engagement of text and writer. Beginning with his initial novel, the use of language became a rallying point for most studies on Kourouma's works. This article offers a critical overview of the issue of language(s) in Kourouma's writings and proposes fresh perspectives for reading the internal dynamics of textual discourse and also scholarly reception. A recurrent element of form throughout Kourouma's novels, the problematic of language and its treatment remains variable from one novel to the next. The study centers on two distinctive creative stages in Kourouma's writing where he managed to describe society, the African multicultural context, thanks to a type of multilingual process that changes with each situation, each period, each theoretical demand. This brings to focus the writer's very relationship with the French language and his native Malinke in context.

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