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João Paulo Borges Coelho, João Albasini and the Worlding of Mozambican Literature
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2013 (English)In: 1616: Anuario de literatura comparada, ISSN 0210-7287, Vol. 3, 87-102 p.Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

In O Olho de Hertzog (2010), set in the immediate aftermath ofthe First World War, the Mozambican writer João Paulo Borges Coelho presentsa cosmopolitan panorama of colonial south-eastern Africa. «Mozambique» emergeshere not primarily as a Portuguese colonial space but as a site of multipleentanglements between interests: transnational and local, European and African,South African and Mozambican, British and German, colonial and proto-nationalist.In such a way, and differently from previous Mozambican literature, O Olhode Hertzog performs a complex act of worlding that exceeds the bounded colonial/national space of Mozambique, but resists synthesis. This cosmopolitanismcan be read expressive of the strained relations and constitutive hierarchies ofcolonial society as well as, by implication, of contemporary globalisation. Themost important index of such a critical cosmopolitanism is the trope of the «twoworlds» of Lourenço Marques, embodied in the central character João Albasini,legendary mestiço activist and founder of the proto-nationalist journal O BradoAfricano (1918-1974). Albasini functions as a Virgil for the protagonist HansMahrenholz’s descent into the colonial inferno of Mozambique. Not least byciting documentary material –Albasini’s editorials and shop signs in LourençoMarques– Coelho problematises the divisions of the colonial city, sustained byinternational capital, and provides a sharp contrast to the otherwise dominant«European» narrative of novel, which revolves around a fabled diamond andwhite South African intrigue.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Salamanca, 2013. Vol. 3, 87-102 p.
Keyword [en]
Mozambican literature, world literature, First World War, João Albasini, João Paulo Borges Coelho, colonialism, cosmopolitanism, historical novel
National Category
General Literature Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-102838OAI: diva2:713444
Available from: 2014-04-23 Created: 2014-04-23 Last updated: 2014-04-23

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