African Literature, Animism and Politics (Routledge Research by Caroline Rooney

By Caroline Rooney

This publication marks an immense contribution to colonial and postcolonial reviews in its rationalization of the African discourse of awareness and its far-reaching analyses of a literature of animism. it will likely be of serious curiosity to students in lots of fields together with literary and significant thought, philosophy, anthropology, politics and psychoanalysis.

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In Oedipus at Colonus (the last-written play of the The Theban Trilogy),27 we have Oedipus and Antigone in the same play. 28 In this play, so concerned with a hospitality beyond calculation and with what it means to receive, Oedipus is simultaneously accursed, a polluted, untouchable being (‘You touch me? ’, lines 1285–6) and a sacred being (coming as ‘someone sacred … bearing a great gift for all your people’, lines 312–14), who, in ‘death’ crosses the threshold between the human and divine or supernatural.

Two thousand years at least, of Europe … of all that could be called the imperialism or colonialisms or neocolonialisms of the IC’ (p. 224). Would this amount to a history of the dissociation of the father-as-knowledge from worldly immediacy, so that, potential actual fathers aside, any question of a paternal body here would be a question of what originates as a spectre? While Glas also importantly engages with what it is to assume or erase analogies between Holy and earthly families, this will not be pursued directly here, except to note: ‘To found or to destroy religion (the family production) always comes down to wanting to reduce fetishism’ (p.

In striking contradistinction to this Antigone-like scenario, Dangarembga’s novel opens with the line: ‘I was not sorry when my brother died’. The novel, set historically in the period of the war of liberation, concerns a young girl’s entry into a Europeanised, Oedipalised family unit. She is not sorry when her brother dies because his death gives her the competitive advantage to get ahead and acquire the privileges of the white middle-class lifestyle that she aspires to. ’ If Hove’s text is about empathetic identifications with the misfortunes of others, Dangarembga’s text shows that the imperatives of entering a Europeanised capitalist society involve a maximising of self-interest and self-control.

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