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Title:En Attendant Kabila: Zairian Literature During Mobutu's Reign
Author(s):Fedde, Susan Joy
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Accad, Evelyne
Department / Program:French
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Literature, African
Abstract:Zairian literature has been virtually ignored by francophone and post-colonial scholars, yet this marginalized literature offers much insight into the post-colonial quest of becoming. Throughout its history Zairian literature has been inextricably linked to the nation's political climate. During colonialism and Mobutu's long rule literature was considered an important tool of political control; as such literary expression was strictly monitored by the prevailing authorities. In the early 1970s Mobutu created a national cultural policy which he called "authenticity". This policy would have a profound effect upon the nation's fledgling literature. During the first decade of authenticity Zairian literature revealed the degree to which the government controlled literary expression. Some texts from this decade are examples of pure propaganda for Mobutu, while others manifest a more complex relationship with the government. As it became increasingly clear that the Mobutu "system" was ruining the nation, the literature changed its tone. In the 1980s Zairian literature denounced the system of corruption and castigated Zairians for their passivity vis-a-vis the government. In the 1990s Mobutu reluctantly began the process of democratization. As he was unwilling to concede his supreme authority, Mobutu manipulated language in order to stall the move to democracy. Zairians who had once been taught to consider Mobutu as their national savior, began to call him the devil. Zairian literature of the 1990s chronicles the nation's struggle to free itself of Mobutu's rule and to create a more just society. Now renamed the Democratic Republic of Congo this nation's people are still struggling to find their voice.
Issue Date:2000
Description:173 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2000.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9971074
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2000

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