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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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Relighting Stars and Bazaars of Voices

Relighting Stars and Bazaars of Voices

Exchange and Dialogue in Léonora Miano’s Tels des astres éteints and Alain Mabanckou’s Black Bazar

(p.110) Relighting Stars and Bazaars of Voices
Francophone Afropean Literatures

Kathryn Kleppinger

Liverpool University Press

This chapter focuses on the shifting and complex presentations of the Afropean community in two novels: Léonora Miano's Tels des Astres Éteints and Alain Mabanckou's Black Bazar. While Miano's characters reflect at length on the meaning of their African heritage in the context of living in Paris (and often disagree with each other), Mabanckou's narrator actively refuses to commit to any over-arching philosophy and instead plays with various ideas, arguments, and stereotypes regarding the Afropean population of France. Rather than promoting any specific definition of Afropean identity, Miano and Mabanckou instead draw attention to the ways in which characters learn to live in their new homes and countries. Those who listen carefully and acknowledge a wide range of ideas are able to successfully mediate the various aspects of their identities; these novels thus refuse dogmatism of all kinds and posit communication and openness as fundamental elements of a peaceful, settled existence as members of an Afropean community. Afropeanism thus becomes a distinctly open yet engaged concept, as characters are actively involved in analyzing the world around them while also seeking to define their lives on their own terms.

Keywords:   Léonora Miano, Alain Mabanckou, Paris, Afropean identity

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