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Title: A critical introduction for an annotated translation of Charles Nokan's Violent etait le vent (Wild blew the wind)
Authors: Agbomi, Alexandre
Issue Date: 1992
Description: Charles Nokan is an Ivorian poet, novelist and dramatist of the second generation of Francophone African writers. A militant writer, Nokan has constantly condemned the failures of the independent Ivory Coast and of those of other independent African nations with an emphasis on the increasing poverty of their peoples. Paradoxically, Nokan is the least known today by the Ivorian public, and his artistic talents have not been fully recognized in his homeland even if in Europe, especially France, his canon has been largely discussed in literary circles and newspapers.In writing this dissertation, I intend to arouse scholarly interest in Ivorian literature, to increase Nokan's readership and to satisfy potential international curiosity. Therefore, I have chosen to translate and annotate Nokan's Violent Etait leVent (1966) and to provide the translation with a critical introduction. The reasons for selecting this novel are twofold: first, it is the novel most representative of his literary canon. Second, Nokan's narrative structure in the novel is especially interesting: it sought to comply with the aesthetic of his own Baoule people. In the novel, the protagonist Kossia relates moments of his childhood in his village. Then, with the help of a friend, Djahah, Kossia goes to study in France. When he returns home, he teaches classes on the revolutionary history of the masses. But he has to fight against powerful neo-colonial forces. His struggle is an epic one, ending in death.This dissertation is divided into five parts. Part One deals with Nokan's life and place in African literature; it also provides the intellectual and political movement against colonialism in twentieth century Africa. Part Two focuses on the African values, customs, traditions and briefly comments on the political history of the Ivory Coast. Part Three is a discussion of the problems encountered and of the choices made during the translation process. Part Four deals with the English translation of Violent Etait le Vent. Finally, Part Five discusses Nokan's narrative technique and narrative content in the novel. The analyses show that Nokan imitates aspects of the African oral traditions and utilizes them to develop a new form of novel marked by his peculiar eccentricity of style. The narrative strategy is the first of its kind in African literature.
Appears in Collections:Doctoral Dissertations

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