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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Clandestine or conquistadores? Beyond sensational headlines, or a literature of urgency
Author:Calargé, Carla
Periodical:Research in African Literatures (ISSN 0034-5210)
Geographic term:Africa
illegal migration
External link:https://doi.org/10.2979/reseafrilite.46.2.1
Abstract:Looking at works that deal with clandestine immigration, including Les Clandestins (Youssouf Amine Elalamy), Cannibales (Mahi Binebine), Clandestins en Méditerranée (Fawzi Mellah), Partir (Tahal Ben Jelloun), Celles qui attendent (Fatou Diome), and Le Paradis du Nord (Essomba), the author examines the way literature describes the dream that immigrants have of Europe in general, and of France in particular, as an El Dorado they look to conquer. The El Dorado is, as we know, a myth, but in the context of this literature, it is also a cultural myth -as Barthes defines it in Mythologies- the ultimate function of which is to 'transform history into nature.' This study explores how the 'culture industry' shapes the myth of the 'European El Dorado' in the migrants' minds and analyzes the mechanisms used to construct this myth as it is suggested in the various novels. The author also discusses the ideological foundations on which this myth is based, or the 'vol de language' through which it is articulated. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]