From Francophonie to World Literature in French: Ethics, Poetics, & Politics

From Francophonie to World Literature in French: Ethics, Poetics, & Politics

From Francophonie to World Literature in French: Ethics, Poetics, & Politics

From Francophonie to World Literature in French: Ethics, Poetics, & Politics

Synopsis

In 2007 the French newspaper Le Monde published a manifesto titled "Toward a 'World Literature' in French," signed by forty-four writers, many from France's former colonies. Proclaiming that the francophone label encompassed people who had little in common besides the fact that they all spoke French, the manifesto's proponents, the so-called francophone writers themselves, sought to energize a battle cry against the discriminatory effects and prescriptive claims of francophonie.

In one of the first books to study the movement away from the term "francophone" to "world literature in French," Thérèse Migraine-George engages a literary analysis of contemporary works in exploring the tensions and theoretical debates surrounding world literature in French. She focuses on works by a diverse group of contemporary French-speaking writers who straddle continents-Nina Bouraoui, Hélène Cixous, Maryse Condé, Marie NDiaye, Tierno Monénembo, and Lyonel Trouillot. What these writers have in common beyond their use of French is their resistance to the centralizing power of a language, their rejection of exclusive definitions, and their claim for creative autonomy.

Excerpt

Literature, French, and the World

This book looks at how contemporary French-speaking writers’ call to replace the designation “Francophone literature” by “littérature monde en français” (world literature in French) points to French and Francophone literary studies as a site of renewed transnational debates on issues of identity, ethics, and aesthetic universality. in 2007 the publication in the French newspaper Le Monde of a manifesto titled “Pour une ‘littérature-monde’ en français” (“Toward a ‘World Literature’ in French”) and signed by forty-four writers from various parts of the French-speaking world, including France, triggered a wealth of international conferences, newspaper articles, and scholarly publications enthusiastically embracing or sternly disputing these writers’ proclamation of the “end” of Francophonie and the concomitant “birth” of littérature-monde en français (Barbery et al. 2010, 113). a collective volume of essays, Pour une littérature-monde, edited by Michel Le Bris and Jean Rouaud (2007), was published shortly after the manifesto. Because Francophone studies have become an integral scholarly discipline in the Anglo-American world while remaining a . . .

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