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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Selling (out) on the black market: 'Black bazar''s literary 'sape'
Author:Knox, Katelyn
Periodical:Research in African Literatures (ISSN 0034-5210)
Geographic term:Congo (Democratic Republic of)
About person:Alain Mabanckou (1966-)ISNI
External link:https://doi.org/10.2979/reseafrilite.46.2.52
Abstract:This article develops a framework drawing from Congolese sape fashion practices to read Alain Mabanckou's 2009 novel 'Black bazar'. In 'sape' -an acronym for La Société des ambianceurs et des personnes élégantes (the Society of Ambiencers and Persons of Elegance)- sapeurs 'sappers' perform danses des griffes 'dances of designer labels' during which they brandish their clothing items' designer brands. Reading Black bazar as an example of 'literary sape,' the author argues that the narrator-author's references to cultural works from a variety of national and historical contexts can productively be read as a literary danse des griffes -a performance that interrogates the reading strategies to which the novel itself will be subjected. Ultimately, through its content and form, Black bazar contests the very notion of authenticity that undergirds how francophone cultural works and their authors are packaged and circulated within larger global cultural economies. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]