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Migrant Literature Migrating. The Case of Fatou Diome’s Le Ventre de l’Atlantique and Its Swedish Reception
Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, French. (Interkulturella studier (LIT))ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1332-5467
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper examines Fatou Diome’s novel Le Ventre de l’Atlantique [The Belly of the Atlantic] published in 2003, and the reception of its Swedish translation Atlantens mage (2010). The study has an intrinsic (text-centered) perspective, as it examines the representations of migration and of migrants in Diome’s work – but it also has an extrinsic and reader response-oriented perspective, as it focuses on the public discourses emanating from the novel.

   Le Ventre de l’Atlantique tells the story of a Senegalese woman who has emigrated to France, and of her younger half-brother who has been left behind. Migration, belonging, exile and xenophobia are important themes in the novel, and it has been cited as an example of francophone migrant literature and of World Literature (Lindberg 2015 and 2016). The female Senegalese narrator claims that many people in Senegal still suffer from what she calls a “colonisation mentale” (Diome 2003:53). Thus, according to the main character, the French cultural and economic hegemony persists even after 40 years of political independence for the nation of Senegal.

   The reader-response part of the study deals with the reception of Diome’s novel in Sweden. Reviews published in the Swedish press (here called “established criticism”) have been examined, as well as reviews published in the blogosphere (labelled “alternative criticism”). The material has been collected in the database Mediearkivet (for the press) and by using the search-engine Google for reviews published in the blogosphere, see Aronsson (2016) for a thorough presentation of the method used. The paper seeks to answer the following questions: How is the theme of migration depicted in Diome’s novel, and how does this theme appear in the Swedish literary reception? Is the novel inscribed in a particular literary and/or intellectual tradition? If that is the case, which arguments and references are used by the reviewers?

 

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oslo: University of Oslo, ILOS , 2018.
National Category
Specific Literatures
Research subject
Intercultural Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-28658OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-28658DiVA, id: diva2:1253534
Conference
Erratic bodies, transitional borders, and recent migration in Europe: Representation and identity negotiations in public discourse, literature, and the arts (University of Oslo, ILOS, September 27-28, 2018)
Available from: 2018-10-05 Created: 2018-10-05 Last updated: 2018-10-05Bibliographically approved

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https://www.hf.uio.no/ilos/english/research/groups/Migration%20borders%20and%20identity/events/workshop2018/program-erratic-bodies-seminar-uio-2018.pdf

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Aronsson, Mattias

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