La Misère Intellectuelle dans quelques Fictions Cinématographiques et Littéraires de l'Afrique Subsaharienne
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The deterioration of reason - defined as the faculty of thinking and its functioning in all human beings - is an essential question in Francophone Sub-Saharan literary and cinematographic fictions. This is one of many possible interpretations that can be derived from some novels and films produced during the period from 1950 to 2000 in this region. These cultural productions span an era marked in Africa by the "historical facts" of anticolonial struggles, decolonization, and (re) constructions of newly sovereign states that gained their independence from the European nations to which they had been subjected. The juxtaposition of these works leads to a critical realization: Half a century after the decolonization movements, African societies remain so dysfunctional that one is forced to ask if their inhabitants are still "normal," provided one can come to an agreement on what is normal. This speculation takes the form of a recurrent metaphor in the corpus: Africa is a continent ripped to shreds, irrevocably plunged into a dark night that has silenced reason. Taking up this metaphor, not only as a theme but also as a theoretical concern, I argue that the metaphoric uses of the night are an indication of a more critical reality, which is the intellectual journey of a population that has leapt into a state of impoverishment. I approach impoverishment both as the state of being deprived and the process leading to this deprivation, and I maintain my earlier characterization of intellectual as a synonym of reason. In this line, I describe intellectual impoverishment as the (progressive) loss of consciousness and rationality that befalls a large population of the continent. This loss is portrayed through the appearance and proliferation of various paradoxical figures that embody the "spiritual death" of the people. One portrayal of this death, the transformation of African populations into zombies, then serves to flesh out the concept of intellectual impoverishment. Thus, this dissertation investigates the socio-political processes through which critical thinking is annihilated in Sub-Saharan Africa, through an analysis of literary and cinematographic fictions by francophone authors of this region. This dissertation is written in French.