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Narrating the Postcolonial Nation

Mapping Angola and Mozambique


Edited By Ana Mafalda Leite, Hilary Owen, Rita Chaves and Livia Apa

The essays collected in this volume look at the way that Mozambican and Angolan literary works seek to narrate, re-create and make sense of the postcolonial nation. Some of the studies focus on individual works; others are comparative analyses of Angolan and Mozambican works, with a focus on the way they enter into dialogue with each other. The volume is oriented by three broad themes: the role of history; the recurring image of the voyage; and discursive/narrative strategies. The final section of the book considers the postcolonial in a broader Lusophone and international context.


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Part 2 The voyage theme


Laura Cavalcante Padilha Novels as Travel Diaries: The Case of Angola Ever since the novel became a cultural literary practice in Angola, it has rebelled against the silence imposed on it by the European West by attempt- ing to recover subjectivities and distinct modes of social organization, as well as other forms of narrating which had been relegated to the margins by Eurocentrism. This does not signify, however, the elision of the matri- ces transplanted by colonization, but solely the addition of a supplement through which a new gaze through difference is established, or as Homi Bhabha postulates, a ‘countergaze that turns the discriminatory look’ of the imperial other (1998: 80). It is worth remembering that this other’s imaginary, so exhaustively demonstrated by its literature, was always, indeed at times excessively and uncontrollably, drawn to the sea. This historical impulse made the sea voyage a recurrent thread in narratives that inscribe the foundational myths and heroes of the history of the West and its project to expand outwards. Analysing this attraction, Eduardo Lourenço metaphorically affirms that ‘foi sempre como um barco que o imaginário europeu se representou o seu destino viajante […] levando a bordo a humanidade inteira’ (2007: 5) [it was always with a ship that the European imagination represented its wandering destiny … taking on board the whole of humanity]. In turn, the African imaginary, even though it does have representations of voy- ages as one of its more expressive features, is not drawn to the sea: rather...

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