Rene Maran's

Rene Maran's "Batouala": Jazz-Text

by Susan Allen


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The polemic excited by Batouala's controversial Preface has conditioned an enduring, near-universal acceptance of a disjunction of Preface and novel. This is the first book to challenge that premise. The fallacious underpinnings of the origin persistence of this view are shown to lie in Western, dichotomously structured thinking. Through offshoots of the civilised-versus-savage dichotomy, namely oral-versus-written, form-versus-content and music-versus-narrative, Batouala's Signifyin(g) discourse spills beyond the novel's borders to reveal the sterility of dichotomy as a conceptualising structure. Dichotomy's anachronism is thrust upon it through the work's faithful representation of African ontology, whose water-inspired philosophy precludes it. Batouala's structural basis is compared with that of jazz, which similarly bridges European and African civilisations, and whose African philosophical stance also acts as a provocation to the dichotomous thinking model. As Batouala Fixed transmutes to Batouala Free, the pejorative implications of its widely touted ambiguity evaporate to expose a novel that is both lucid and coherent when viewed as jazz-text and jazz performance.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783034315647
Publisher: Peter Lang AG, Internationaler Verlag der Wissenschaften
Publication date: 09/29/2015
Pages: 343
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 8.86(h) x (d)

About the Author

Susan Allen is a Conjoint Fellow of the University of Newcastle, Australia, a jazz musician (boogie/blues/New Orleans piano), and a senior teacher of F. M. Alexander’s work.

Table of Contents

Contents: Part One: Batouala Fixed: Figé dans le temps, l'otage de sa Préface controversée - Part Two: Batouala Free: Son jazz performance.

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