(2008). L’oiseau-fétiche ou le rôle du conte chez Goyemide.
In: Abomo-Maurin, Marie-Rose ed.
Littérature orale : Genres, fonctions et réécriture.
Paris: L'Harmattan, pp. 157–174.
Writers from Central African Republic are virtually unknown abroad. This study focuses on the place and functions of the folktale in Goyemide’s two novels published in France in 1984 and 1985, Le silence de la forêt and Le Dernier survivant de la caravane. In both novels, folktales clearly belong to oral literature. Le dernier survivant is divided into four chapters, each offering an unusual mix of literary genres: Narratives, speeches, songs, chants, legends and folktales. Folktales are used as thread, an umbilical cord linking individuals to their past: the two folktales inserted into the first novel help the main protagonist find the meaning of life, and those of the dernier survivant reinforce the villagers’ ancestral ties of the villagers. The five folktales about the tortoise and gorilla, the wren, the toad and the lizard, are directly inspired by age-long traditions and offer words of wisdom. Those folktales are there as another way of telling life experiences; they have symbolic and prophetic functions, proclaiming the victory of the underdog and the slaves’ ultimate liberation. At the very moment the story-teller leaves the scene, readers remember his first prophetic words: Africans will eventually free themselves from the colonial yoke, the same way Tortoise got rid of the wart hog, the same way the wren signals the end of the storm, the same way African slaves ran away from the Tuareg slave masters.
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