Language Policies, Intercultural Antagonisms and Dialogue
Edited By Kamal Salhi
Patrick Corcoran - Language and Cultural Affiliation in West Africa: The Case of Ahmadou Kourouma 313
PATRICK CORCORAN Language and Cultural Affiliation in West Africa: The Case of Ahmadou Kourouma Situating Ahmadou Kourouma in a linguistic or cultural context is not an easy task. He is generally described as an Ivory Coast novelist, but for a variety of reasons Kourouma is a much travelled man. His particular brand of cosmopolitanism may be essentially African, but it nevertheless makes any attempt to categorise him exceptionally difficult. This is true for two chief reasons. Firstly, there is the fact that Kourouma originates from a princely Islamic family, and the family connections and networks that provided a practical infrastructure shaping his early experiences and upbringing bear no correspondence to the national boundaries that stu- dents of modern Africa would easily recognise. Secondly, Kourouma has never been reticent about giving voice to his political beliefs and has never shrunk from translating the convictions that flow from these beliefs into actions and decisions that have frequently incurred the wrath of professional politicians in the region. On several occasions, both in the period prior to the wave of African countries gaining independence in the 1960s and subsequently, Kourouma has been obliged to make deci- sions about how and where to earn his living on the basis of expediency rather than on the basis of free choice. He has frequently seen doors closed on him, both metaphorically, as posts to which he was appointed were suddenly no longer available, and physically, as he endured im- prisonment during the period ofHouphouet-Boigny's 'faux complots' in...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.