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