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tre albinos: the trope of albinism in Williams Sassine's Wirriyamu and Mmoire d'une peau

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This article examines the positioning of albino protagonists at the centre of Francophone Guinean writer Williams Sassine's novels Wirriyamu (1976) and Mmoire d'une peau (1998). The narratives not only focus on the visible difference of the albino characters and the alienation that results from it but also posit various ways in which other characters might be albino. As Sassine's portrayal of the protagonist of Mmoire d'une peau demonstrates, being albino means being associated with weakness, madness, marginality and curiosity. This article proposes that Sassine's use of the symbolic trope of albinism raises important questions about the paradigms around which the colonial and postcolonial worlds of these novels are structured and demands a re-examination of what constitutes the postcolonial African self.
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Keywords: Francophone sub-Saharan Africa; Williams Sassine; albinism; literary representation; postcolonialism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Lancaster University.

Publication date: 2010-06-01

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  • The International Journal of Francophone Studies offers a critical preview for a new development in the understanding of 'France outside France', with a thorough insight into the network of disciplinary issues affiliated with this study. The journal complements the thriving area of scholarly interest in the French-speaking regions of the world, bringing a location of linguistic, cultural, historical and social dynamics within a single academic arena.
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