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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:History and its doubles in Alain Mabanckou's 'African psycho'
Author:Libin, Mark
Periodical:Research in African Literatures (ISSN 0034-5210)
Geographic term:Congo (Republic of)
literary criticism
About person:Alain Mabanckou (1966-)ISNI
Abstract:Through a reading of the theme of doubleness in Alain Mabanckou's 'African psycho', a theme that also includes the extra-textual positioning of the novel as a literary double to Brett Easton Ellis's 'American psycho', I argue that Mabanckou's novel gestures toward a narrative double that is almost completely obscured by the narration itself, namely the traumatic legacy of ongoing civil war and strife in the Congo region. Using Achille Mbembe's reading of Cameroonian political cartoons as a lens through which to discuss 'the thing and its doubles,' I suggest that 'African psycho' offers a tangible and complex representation of Mbembe's contention that the only means of accurately representing the immediate present of Africa is not through standard realism, but through a mode that is excessive, grotesque, cartoonish, and hallucinatory. Bibliogr., notes, ref, sum. [Journal abstract]