PENSER LE MONDE CONTEMPORAIN : IMAGE ET FANTASTIQUE DANS L’ŒUVRE ROMANESQUE DE KOSSI EFOUI
Atakora, Bufowu Anas
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This thesis is based on Kossi Efoui's novels: La Polka (1998), La Fabrique de cérémonies (2001), Solo d’un revenant (2008), L’Ombre des choses à venir (2011), Cantique de l'acacia (2017). It analyzes his fiction with a focus on images and fantasy, and aims at questioning the sociopolitical, historical and identity contexts in which the contemporary world unfolds. It therefore relies on the fundamental hypothesis that Efoui’s novels use the motifs of image to create an aesthetic of fantasy that portrays the real or supposed interconnectivity of our time. To that end, the first two chapters build a theoretical framework that draws on three sources. First, the semiology and intermediality that describe image as poetic, dreamlike, and physical. Then, the studies of fantasy that mention image as a constitutive element of this aesthetic. Finally, the postcolonial thinking that reflects on the challenges of dis/connection that led the novelist to a fantasy representation of the world. This theoretical framework serves as an instrument of analysis and interpretation for the other five chapters. The study highlights the recurrences of image in Efoui’s work and the resulting fantasy that appears through the doubt, the journey of his characters, the decompartmentalization of spaces, the historical and identity questioning in context of globalization. Efoui’s novels thus become a reinterpretation of fantasy and a lucid description of the contemporary world with its new means of expression (photography, television, Internet) which are crossed, sometimes subverted, by other older means such as poetry, storytelling, drawing. His fiction is ultimately a field of symbolizations where we can see links, correspondences, and thresholds, signs of entanglement of images and imaginations, capable of pushing the contemporary individual to engender a coherence of oneself and the world.