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The "global village" that media pundits and politicians evoke as general currency might well be visualized, in this onset of the twenty-first century, as a village beset by fires, riot, and rampage, where hunger reigns unopposed. The paradox of the term poorly conceals the untold violence that the violence of rhetoric seeks to erase. Yet, contemporary African Francophone texts have been tearing off this mask for decades, locating themselves less often in idyllic villages, and more frequently, on the cable lines of suffering between dying villages and indigent cities. In the literature of the 1980s, the focus of this essay, the "village" is already deeply affected by "global economies," but it is hardly a place of intersections, exchange, and communication.

This essay discusses three novels, all published in 1988 by engaged African writers: Michèle Rakotoson's Le Bain des reliques, Doumbi-Facoly's Certificat de contrôle anti-sida and Yodi Karoné's Les beaux gosses.


This work was originally published in French and Francophone/Yale French Studies.



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