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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Oedipus, Ogbanje, and the sons of independence
Author:Ten Kortenaar, NeilISNI
Periodical:Research in African Literatures
Geographic terms:Cameroon
About persons:Albert Chinualumogu Achebe (1930-2013)ISNI
Mongo Beti (1932-2001) pseud. for Alexandre BiyidiISNI
External link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/research_in_african_literatures/v038/38.2kortenaar.pdf
Abstract:The protagonists of many African novels at the time of independence are young men eager to inherit the 'commandement', or power, of the colonizers by investing it in the State of which they would be the citizens. They want the kind of revolution that in Europe replaced monarchy with bourgeois republics. However, in Europe revolution involved sons replacing and inheriting from fathers. Inheritance is less straightforward in the colony, where fathers have a power that must be overthrown but not a power that can be inherited. Real power lies with the colonizers, from whom Africans cannot inherit. This psychic bind is at work in the pre-independence novels of Mongo Beti and Chinua Achebe, where filicide is more common than parricide and where sons and fathers compete not for access to the mother but for the equivalent of a sister. The novels suggest the need for a succession that acknowledges the predicament of the daughters as well as of the sons of independence and that seeks lateral affiliation across generations instead of vertical hierarchy. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]