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Pour une littrature-monde en franais: manifesto retro?

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This article offers a critique of the contradictions and problems in Michel Le Bris' manifesto(s) for a littrature-monde en franais (Le Bris et al. 2007), seeing the manifesto as a new iteration of francophonie and a retreat from the urgent intellectual and artistic work of confronting the aftermath of colonialism in France. Starting with an analysis of the manifesto's mistaken and incomplete appropriation of anglophone postcolonial literary models such as Salman Rushdie, the article argues that in its straw-man attack on structuralism and its general anti-intellectualism, its dismissal of history and power relations, its embrace of Conrad, Stevenson, and H. Rider Haggard, its overvaluation of travel per se, its reaffirmation of a colonial exotic whereby writers from the periphery provide colour and vitality to renew an enfeebled Europe, and in its vatic romanticism, the manifesto is really a plea to move backward towards the values and ideas of the late nineteenth century, rather than a manifesto that moves towards a literary future.
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Keywords: Michel Le Bris; etonnants voyageurs; francophonie; littrature-monde; postcolonial exotic; world literature

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Minnesota.

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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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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