Afropean Noir in the City of Light
As recent criticism suggests, crime fiction is situated at the intersection of popular culture and moral justice. This chapter examines noir narratives by Cameroonian writer Jean-Roger Essomba in order to explore the economics of crime in a transnational Paris. Through very different mappings of Parisian space, Essomba's work points to the ways in which the preoccupations of noir fiction (the demotic, moral ambiguity, human rights) can engender a vision of Afropeanism that is polarized both internally and externally by transnationalism. In particular, his 2010 novel Alerte à la Bonté, a futuristic, semi-fantastical morality tale, reframes the relationship between noir and the urban landscape in its reading of metropolitan racism. Rather than revisiting the noir world of illegal immigration, here Essomba situates crime in supranational alliances of economic power, thus linking internal tensions around French identity to the question of Europe's place in the contemporary global economy.
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