"The Colonial Fortune" highlights the features of a paracolonial aesthetics emanating from a significant body of contemporary Hexagonal and non-metropolitan texts. Authored by writers who are either directly involved in the debate about the colonial past and its remanence (J. M. G. Le Clézio, Paule Constant, Édouard Glissant, Tierno Monénembo, Marie NDiaye, and Leïla Sebbar) or who do not overtly manifest such concerns (Stéphane Audeguy, Marie Darrieussecq, Régis Jauffret, Pierre Michon, and Claude Simon), these works create a shared imaginary space permeated by the symbolic, rhetorical, and conceptual presence colonialism in our postcolonial era. The paracolonial describes the phenomena of revival, resurgence, remanence, and residue – in other words, the permanence of the colonial in contemporary imagination. It also addresses the re-imagining, revisiting, and recasting of the colonial in current works of literature (fiction, autobiography, and essay).
The idea of the colonial fortune emerges as an interface between our era’s concerns with issues of fate, economics, legacy, and debt stemming from the understudied persistence of the colonial in today’s political and cultural conversation, and literature’s ways of making sense of them both sensorially and sensibly.
Oana Panaïté is Associate Professor of French at Indiana University-Bloomington and the author of Des littératures-mondes en français. Écritures singulières, poétiques transfrontalières dans la prose contemporaine (Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi Press, 2012)
A Primal Scene: The Colonial Fortune
Part One: From Exotic Destinations to Colonial Destinies
1 Departures: Orphans, Heirs and Adventurers
2 Landscape as Vocation
Part Two: Writing as Africans
3 Distant Empathy
4 Maps of Frenchness: Between Self-Invention and Delusion
Part Three: Colonial Remanence
5 Algeria’s Mortified Memory
6 A Place of Dialogue
An Unpayable Debt: For a Paracolonial Aesthetics
'First-rate scholarship ... overall, this is a serious, original and insightful study.'
Professor Lydie E. Moudileno, University of Pennsylvania
May 11, 2017
Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures 46