ALLEN, Susan

PhD University of Newcastle 2012 Pages:

René Maran's "Batouala", jazz-text

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The following thesis reappraises René Maran’s Batouala from a literary point of view, having regard for its historical, political and social dimensions only insofar as they coincide with examination of the work’s literary merits. It posits that the polemic debate excited by the novel’s controversial Preface, which has conditioned an enduring, near-universal acceptance of a disjunction of Preface and novel, is symptomatic of dichotomously-based Western thinking. A jazz-text reading reveals that Batouala’s challenge to the overarching civilised versus-savage dichotomy is enacted through the prism of its offshoots, namely form-versus content and music-versus-narrative, thereby issuing a challenge to the nature of dichotomy itself...

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