(Re)Productions: Autobiography, Colonialism, and Infanticide

(Re)Productions: Autobiography, Colonialism, and Infanticide

(Re)Productions: Autobiography, Colonialism, and Infanticide

(Re)Productions: Autobiography, Colonialism, and Infanticide

Synopsis

This book looks at the constructs of gender, genre, and colonialism as they intersect in the works of Senegalese writers Mariama Ba and Aminata Sow Fall and French writer Marguerite Duras. Though these authors form an unlikely trio at first glance, we hear surprising echoes in their texts as they reveal the construction and narration of a feminine "I" over and against a variety of colonizing forces. The authors' experimentation with autobiographical writing, experiences with colonialism, and exploration of the metaphor of infanticide create a rich, multicultural dialogue about the politics of women's writing.

Excerpt

This book makes rather strange bedfellows out of a very diverse group of authors, theorists, and critics. While the main focus is on the literary texts of Mariama Bâ, Marguerite Duras, and Aminata Sow Fall, questions raised by these texts and their contexts have led me to the writings of Thomas Mpoyi-Buatu of Zaire, Nafissatou Diallo of Senegal, Aoua Kéita of Mali, and 19th-century French writer, Pierre Loti. Precisely because of the social, cultural, experiential, and literary differences among these writers, I have found it undesirable and, indeed, impossible to adopt a single critical approach in reading their texts. My readings are certainly influenced by a variety of feminist, postmodern, postcolonial, and cultural theories, but it is only through the imbrication of these perspectives that one can begin to forge an appropriate critical apparatus with which to read these texts. Even then, such an approach is necessarily deficient, and I have done my best to heed the moments when the literary texts in question demand to be read on their terms alone, allowing a dialogue to emerge among them that often transgresses cultural, ideological, and literary boundaries.

Questions of colonialism, gender, and genre underlie each of the literary texts that I have chosen to discuss here. Far from provoking disparate or exclusive discourses, I find that these questions are intimately linked to one another via the figure of reproduction. As I will explain in more detail in my first chapter, the idea of reproduction is essential to the understanding of the capitalist component of colonialism, as well as to the policy of assimilation that motivated much of the French colonial enter-

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.