Masculinités ‘noires’, renégociées Yambo Ouologuem au prisme de ses représentations d’ethnicité et de genre
Today, Yambo Ouologuem is counted among the most important figures of post-independence francophone African literature. While Ouologuem’s “sado-modernist” elective affinities with French Nouveau Romancier Alain Robbe-Grillet have long been known, his iconoclasm has rarely been considered in relation to the contemporary French literary avant-garde and high modernist legacy. This article discusses representations of gender and ethnicity as they appear in Ouologuem’s novel Le Devoir de violence (Le Seuil, 1968). With reference to a sexist and exotic intertextuality, this article argues that Ouologuem’s novel is less connected to some presumed “Africanness” than to an elitist and misogynistic aesthetic inherent in French high modernism. Under the control of a hegemonic reception process, it seems in the end that Le Devoir de violence has helped much more to consolidate a culturalized distinction between French and francophone literature than to question it.