Title

Transglocal Fictions: Archetypal Detours in Maryse Condé's Hérémakhonon, en attendant le bonheur (1988)

Subject Area

French and Francophone Studies

Abstract

In Hérémakhonon,en attendant le bonheur, Guadeloupian writer Condé retraces the journey of Véronica Mercier, a Guadeloupian teacher of philosophy who abruptly decides to go to an unnamed African country after having spent nine years in France. Calling her migration to Africa “[une] tragique erreur [“a tragic mistake,”] Véronica ultimately decides to go back to France. The fact that Véronica challenges the myth of the return to Africa in the constitution of an African diasporic self has been treated at length by numerous scholars. Yet, in order to deal with the significance of Véronica’s voyage to Africa in her quest of identity, I borrow Edouard Glissant’s concept of “détour.”. My reading of Hérémakhonon differs from that of previous scholars who while engaging with various forms of return interpreted those as unproductive forms of detours. I argue that Véronica’s trajectory is a productive model of detour that led to a space characterized by possibilities of survival and resistance against the “coloniality of power.” In doing so, my objective is to establish that Hérémakhonon should be read as a narrative of archetypal detours developed into productive forms of resistance. Hérémakhonon not only creates new avenues in reexamining the assumed connections between Africa and its diaspora but also develops narrative strategies which, at the intertextual and paratextual levels, perform textual modes of detours shaping transglocal fiction as a literary model of resistance.

Brief Bio Note

Dr. Hapsatou Wane is an Assistant Professor of English and French at Georgia Southern University

Keywords

Transglocal, Diaspora, Postcolonial, Francophone Caribbean Literature, Opacity, Glissantian Detour

Location

Afternoon Session 3 (PARB 239)

Presentation Year

2019

Start Date

4-11-2019 5:55 PM

Embargo

3-1-2019

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Apr 11th, 5:55 PM

Transglocal Fictions: Archetypal Detours in Maryse Condé's Hérémakhonon, en attendant le bonheur (1988)

Afternoon Session 3 (PARB 239)

In Hérémakhonon,en attendant le bonheur, Guadeloupian writer Condé retraces the journey of Véronica Mercier, a Guadeloupian teacher of philosophy who abruptly decides to go to an unnamed African country after having spent nine years in France. Calling her migration to Africa “[une] tragique erreur [“a tragic mistake,”] Véronica ultimately decides to go back to France. The fact that Véronica challenges the myth of the return to Africa in the constitution of an African diasporic self has been treated at length by numerous scholars. Yet, in order to deal with the significance of Véronica’s voyage to Africa in her quest of identity, I borrow Edouard Glissant’s concept of “détour.”. My reading of Hérémakhonon differs from that of previous scholars who while engaging with various forms of return interpreted those as unproductive forms of detours. I argue that Véronica’s trajectory is a productive model of detour that led to a space characterized by possibilities of survival and resistance against the “coloniality of power.” In doing so, my objective is to establish that Hérémakhonon should be read as a narrative of archetypal detours developed into productive forms of resistance. Hérémakhonon not only creates new avenues in reexamining the assumed connections between Africa and its diaspora but also develops narrative strategies which, at the intertextual and paratextual levels, perform textual modes of detours shaping transglocal fiction as a literary model of resistance.