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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Multiple witnesses, multiple stories: subversion of the story-telling-interpretation processes in court trials
Author:Yewah, EmmanuelISNI
Year:1994
Periodical:African Literature Today
Issue:19
Pages:64-83
Language:English
Geographic terms:Burkina Faso
Gabon
Subjects:lawsuits
literature
About persons:Patrick Gomdaogo Ilboudo (1951-)ISNI
Séraphin Ndaot
Abstract:The author analyses 'Le procès d'un Prix Nobel' (1983) by Séraphin Ndaot and 'Le procès du muet' (1987) by Patrick Ilboudo as subversions of the storytelling-interpretation processes in court trials, in an attempt to 'undo' or 'deconstruct' the structure of received tradition in the law system. In 'Le procès du muet' the sign 'Silence: court in session' is used as a defence strategy to subvert the judging-interpretation process. 'Le procès d'un Prix Nobel' subverts the process by introducing a multiplicity of witnesses each telling a story irrelevant to the main story. Using both texts as sources of reference this article shows 1) the centrality of storytelling in trials; 2) the use of stories in the judging process; and 3) the idea that trials in these works as in many other literary works often serve as a metaphor for something else. The author shows that because subversion either through silence or through irrelevance defers resolution permanently, any semblance of resolution at the end of both texts is attributable to a spiritual or ancestral intervention. Bibliogr., notes.
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