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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Banished from Oedipus? Buchi Emecheta's and Assia Djebar's gendered language of resistance
Author:Cooper, BrendaISNI
Periodical:Research in African Literatures
Geographic terms:Algeria
Subjects:language usage
women writers
About persons:Buchi Emecheta (1944-)
Assia Djebar (1936-) pseud. for Fatima-Zohra Imalayčne
Abstract:The author derives her title from Gayatri Spivak, who declares that postcolonial writers and intellectuals, like Buchi Emecheta and Assia Djebar, are banished from Oedipus. Thus they are also outside the patriarchal law of the symbolic and the dominant Western metaphors to which it is bonded. The author examines the transformative potential of the metonymic language of material culture and the everyday. She shows how the writers transform commonplace objects, like a pram or a lettuce, into metonyms of daily life in order to wrest language away from the Oedipal, Western, male symbolic and to find their voices, as writers, as women, and as Africans. The paper emphasizes, however, that language is always, in fact, blended. What is being contested is the hierarchy between polarized dimensions, such as the figurative over the literal, the symbolic over the imaginary, English over indigenous languages, and Europe over Africa. What we see is how the protagonists of Emecheta and Djebar are constituted as subjects within multiple dimensions, knowledges, cultures, and traditions. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]