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Tydskrif vir Letterkunde

versão On-line ISSN 2309-9070
versão impressa ISSN 0041-476X


MUVUTI, Shelton. Revisiting trauma and homo religiosus in selected texts by Mongo Beti and Veronique Tadjo. Tydskr. letterkd. [online]. 2018, vol.55, n.1, pp.28-40. ISSN 2309-9070.

This paper locates religion within the literary narratives of traumatogenic experiences such as war and genocide as depicted in The Poor Christ of Bomba by Mongo Beti and Véronique Tadjo's The Shadows of Imana: Travels in the Heart of Rwanda. In spite of evident reference to the role played by religion in traumatic and traumatising encounters, it features simply as a footnote to the ethnic tensions that underpin these encounters. Drawing on the theoretical work of J. Roger Kurtz and other scholars as well as casting a glance at anticolonial and postcolonial Francophone literatures, this paper argues that trauma in modern postcolonial Francophone literature is ubiquitous. It reveals itself in the post-independence contradictions and injustices as depicted by modern francophone authors and thinkers whose subject matter is largely dominated by such motifs as corruption, war, violence, insanity, rape, poverty, disillusionment, which all accommodate a direct challenge to religion. The absence of religiosity in trauma literature suggests a reversal of the socio-historical stereotype that frames Africans as highly religious, and whose opposition to religion is a result of enlightenment through education.

Palavras-chave : Homo religiosus; trauma; religiosity; genocide; Mongo Beti; Véronique Tadjo.

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