Varieties of Literature in Contemporary Cameroon

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This book highlights the symbolic battle to re-order political discourses to make transmission democratic and egalitarian as a condition sine qua none to bring a new democratic order into being. It leaps across cinema, novels and music to demonstrate how the combination of new independent social actors and the emergence of dissident narrative strategies create an organizational context that demonstrates the notion that culture never stands still and political consent, even in oppressive regimes, is ultimately voluntary.


“This book offers a fresh and insightful response to questions of modernity…Dr. Tchouaffe describes how fictions or alternative narratives constructed from resistance, bore through the veneer of manufactured consensus imposed form above to reveal the wormy truths underneath…it illuminates the resilience of the human spirit in the darkest of times.”
-Dr. Tom McCourt,
Department of Media and Communication Studies,
Fordham University

“This is a provoking work that aims to reflect on notions of conformity, obedience and resistance in authoritarian regimes…it addresses artists working from a position of assumed invisibility and fighting their way out of the long dark night of dystopian dictatorship where propaganda is a powerful instrument for social and political discipline…From that special perspective, fiction is a powerful argument for the sovereign function of the artist in a world where appearances trample reality. Fiction is a bridge that transforms the totalitarian subject into a protagonist narrator that carries the cultural capital to make new claims of self-definition and captures a new license to emphasize the sovereignty of the artist and other forms of competencies that challenge the prerogatives of the state.”
-Dr. Bridget Teboh,
University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth

“This work sheds light on the intimate relation between arts and politics in Cameroon. The author beautifully analyzes the means of production of death and underlines the ways in which afro pessimism is definitely not the way to look at Africa’s future in general. It is very commendable that the author makes a strong case for cultural productions that interrogate and that even modify the polemic distribution of space, speech and visibility in a postcolonial context.”
-Dr. Hervé Tchumkan,
Southern Methodist University

Table of Contents

Foreword by Tom McCourt
Chapter 1: Introduction
Impossible Citizenship and Civil Rights in Cameroon:
The Man-Lion, the Golden Calf and the Storymaker
Why fictions matter in oppressive regimes
The Creative class and the Nnôm gui’I
Chapter 2: A Fiction and the Zeitgeist
The President (2014)
A leaf in the wind (Une Feuille dans le Vent, 2014)
Antigone vs the Nnôm gui’I/Creon

Chapter 3: Embodied Fictions
Joe Wood’Ou, Valsero and the Man-Lion
Chapter 4: The Past is not even the Past
Leonora Miano and Une Saison de l’Ombre
Chapter 5: A Dog’s Life: Thoughts on Life versus Existence
Chapter 6: Politics and Media Piracy
Chapter 7: Media Research and Censorship
Chapter 8: Conclusion

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