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Transgression and Dissidence in Rachid Mimouni’s ‘Le Fleuve Détourné’

Gada Nadia


The paper appropriates the African Tradition combined with Ian Miller's theoretical concept of "Disgust" in order to investigate into the dissident language of Rachid Mimouni's Le fleuve détourné (1982). The novel was written at a time when restrictions and censorship were prominent and the writer could neither dare to indict directly the political officials nor could he risk a direct attack on the regime for the repressive conditions under which the population was engulfed. He could, however, imply such responsibility through the development of trickster paradigms to debunk and call into question the official oppressive authority. Subtlety, deviation, signifying, and indirection become his best tools. In so doing, the writer allows his characters to denounce the social and political turmoil by concerning himself with the description of the burning problems. The present paper reads Le fleuve détourné to show how the author resists political oppression by using the trickster's cunning, subversive, and deviating discourse, which serve to convey the horrors of corruption and misrule. As an "Intellectual Trickster" and by means of serious laughter, irony, and sarcasm, the novel reflects the incompetence, sluggishness, and absolute irresponsibility of the political officials which led to the doom of the independence era ever before it came into being and devalued its much anticipated fruits. The literary strategies or "devices" that Mimouni draws from his local culture will be combined with Miller's notion of "disgust", and then will be applied to the novel's characters.

Keywords: Discursive Strategies: Transgression, Deviation, disgust, and Revision.

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