Angry Laughter : Postcolonial Representations of Dictatorial Masculinities

Baker, Charlotte (2019) Angry Laughter : Postcolonial Representations of Dictatorial Masculinities. International Journal of Francophone Studies, 22 (3-4). pp. 233-249. ISSN 1368-2679

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Focusing on the representation of the masculinity of dictator figures in Cheik Aliou Ndao’s Mbaam dictateur (1997) and Baba Galleh Jallow’s Angry Laughter (2004), this article explores the imbrication of social realities, power structures and literary expression that characterises these texts as dictator-novels. It considers the writers’ reappropriation of the border between animal and human as a means by which to level an allegorical political critique in the guise of a fable. In so doing, it emphasises their representation of the hypermasculine body of the dictator and its centrality to emerging nation states that are defined by class and ethnic relations. Finally, its focus turns to the importance of voice to examine the aesthetic of these two dictator-novels, which is of equal importance to our understanding of these texts as their thematic representation. The article thus takes these two literary works as case studies for the dictator-novel at the turn of the 21st century to examine the ways in which African writers use the dictator-novel to express the disenchantment of citizens with the long and faltering process of decolonization that, in many countries across Africa, had seen the emergence not of an ideal postcolonial democracy, but instead of a de-humanizing neo-colonial autocracy.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
International Journal of Francophone Studies
Additional Information:
© Charlotte Baker 2019. The definitive, peer reviewed and edited version of this article is published in International Journal of Francophone Studies, Volume 22, Numbers 3-4, 1 December 2019 DOI:
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? dictator-novel; masculinities; postcolonial nationalisms; performance of power; cheik aliou ndao; baba galleh jallowcultural studiesgender studiesliterature and literary theorysociology and political sciencelinguistics and languagevisual arts and performi ??
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21 Feb 2020 15:00
Last Modified:
19 Mar 2024 00:40