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Francophone Afropean Literatures$
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Nicki Hitchcott and Dominic Thomas

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781781380345

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781380345.001.0001

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Towards an Afropean Cosmopolitanism

Towards an Afropean Cosmopolitanism

Hospitality, Friendship and the African Immigrant

(p.138) Towards an Afropean Cosmopolitanism
Francophone Afropean Literatures

Srilata Ravi

Liverpool University Press

Born in Brazzaville, Congo and currently residing in Berlin and Paris, writer and musician, Wilfried N’Sondé made his literary debut with the novel Le cœur des enfants léopards in 2007. His second novel, Le Silence des esprits (2010), which foregrounds the multilocational dimension of suffering, centers on the brief encounter in a suburban train in Paris between Christelle, a lonely French nurse and Clovis, an illegal African immigrant. This chapter examines the interactions between suffering and hospitality in the various lieux d’hospitalité, both real and symbolic, described in the novel. It demonstrates how N’Sondé's narrative not only exposes the violence inherent in the binary, citizen/refugee, but also reframes the notions of hospitality and migration in terms of empathy and engagement with the “absolute” stranger. Le Silence des esprits showcases an “Afropean sentiment,” a cosmopolitan response that builds on affect and compassion to generate the potential for a collective future based on a shared recognition of suffering.

Keywords:   hospitality, cosmopolitanism, illegal immigrants, Congo, France

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