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Metaglossia: The Translation World
News about translation, interpreting, intercultural communication, terminology and lexicography - as it happens
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bookshy: an African book lover: Book Review: Alain Mabanckou's 'Black Bazaar' (Translated by Sarah Ardizzone)

bookshy: an African book lover: Book Review: Alain Mabanckou's 'Black Bazaar' (Translated by Sarah Ardizzone) | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it

Book Review: Alain Mabanckou's 'Black Bazaar' (Translated by Sarah Ardizzone)

I dedicated August to reading the four Alain Mabanckou novels that have been translated into English. The final novel I read was Black Bazaar, (published in French in 2009 and translated into English in 2012). This review is coming in much later than I would have hoped, but I finally got the chance to finish reading Black Bazaar.

Unlike the first three books I read, which were set in unnamed African countries (possibly Congo-Brazzaville where the author is from), Black Bazaar is set in Paris and presents the African immigrant experience in France. Also there are full stops, paragraphs, and sentences begin with capital letters (just in case you read Broken Glass and Memoirs of a Porcupine and really couldn't get into that style of writing).

Our narrator, Buttologist (he can describe a woman's character just from her behind), works at a printing works and has lived in Paris for fifteen years. He is currently living in a small studio he and his ex-girlfriend, Original Colour, used to live in. This was before Original Colour left him, with their daughter, for another man - the Hybrid. Buttologist is a sapeur (a member of the Society of Ambience-makers and People of Elegance), who can tell you about a man from the way he knots his tie, and spends time at an Afro-Cuban bar with other African immigrants in Paris. He is also an aspiring writer. Black Bazaar is his journal on everything - his relationship with Original Colour, his experiences with his racist neighbour, the 'Arab around the corner', his time at the Afro-Cuban bar with his friends, and even his view on colonialism and post-colonial Africa.

Black Bazaar really is about an African immigrants experience in Paris, and we get to experience that through Buttologist and the people he knows (or meets) and the places he goes. I don't know much about being an African immigrant in Paris, but I found it very interesting to read about it. I also loved the dialogue Buttologist had with different characters in the book, especially his racist neighbour and the 'Arab around the corner'. Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable read and Alain Mabanckou has found himself a new fan.

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Black Bazaar by Alain Mabanckou, translated by Sarah Ardizzone - review

Black Bazaar by Alain Mabanckou, translated by Sarah Ardizzone - review | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
By Jane Housham...

The narrator of Black Bazaar hails, like Alain Mabanckou himself, from Congo-Brazzaville. Known to his friends as "Buttologist", thanks to his deep appreciation of female buttocks, he gives us a vivid picture of the life of African émigrés in Paris. Dressed in the finest designer suits while living in a shabby studio apartment, Buttologist presents a proud image to the world even as he struggles to come to terms with the fact that his partner has run off with a tom-tom player, taking their daughter with her. While he roams the City of Light, from the bars of Les Halles to the street markets of Château Rouge, the book conducts an ebullient debate about the legacy of white colonialism in Africa: did the whites ruin Africa or did they introduce social and cultural practices that ultimately made life better there? Mabanckou seems to be saying that Africans should stop blaming the colonists for all their ills and move forward.

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Author’s wry novels are finally in English

Author’s wry novels are finally in English | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
In a UCLA classroom one day not long ago, Alain Mabanckou was teaching a course in post-colonial African fiction, which he instructs in his French mother tongue, one of several languages he speaks.With his easygoing yet focused manner, soccer player’s...
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Alain Mabanckou's wry novels, written in French, are finally being translated for U.S. audiences - KansasCity.com

Alain Mabanckou's wry novels, written in French, are finally being translated for U.S. audiences - KansasCity.com | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
In a UCLA classroom one day not long ago, Alain Mabanckou was teaching a course in post-colonial African fiction, which he instructs in his French mother tongue, one of several languages he speaks.
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Alain Mabanckou invite l’homme noir à s’occuper de son présent

Alain Mabanckou invite l’homme noir à s’occuper de son présent | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it

Après son émouvante Lettre à Jimmy (James Baldwin), Alain Mabanckou livre avec Le Sanglot de l'homme noir son deuxième texte de non-fiction, publié comme le premier aux éditions Fayard.

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On y trouvera en vrac des hommages (notamment à l’auteur du Devoir de violence, Yambo Ouologuem), des règlements de compte autour de la question du français comme langue de l’écriture africaine (Patrice Nganang, Boubacar Boris Diop), des histoires vécues (la rencontre avec un communautariste aigri dans une salle de gymnase parisienne, par exemple)… Mais les pages les plus marquantes de ce livre sont peut-être celles trop rares où l’auteur raconte son parcours d’écrivain qui l’a conduit de Pointe- Noire à Los Angeles, en passant par Ann Arbor et Paris. Il dit comment l’exil, l’émigration, le voyage nourrissent son imaginaire, tout en le rapprochant de ses racines.

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Littérature / Prix Ivoire 2012 : Alain Mabanckou et Jacques Chevrier, invités d’honneur

Littérature  / Prix Ivoire 2012 : Alain Mabanckou et Jacques Chevrier, invités d’honneur | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it

A la suite de l’écrivain congolais et ambassadeur de l’Unesco, Henri Lopès, qui était l’invité d’honneur du Prix Ivoire 2011, ce sont les écrivains Alain Mabanckou (Congo-Brazzaville) et Jacques Chevrier (France) qui seront les invités d’honneur de la cérémonie de distinction dénommée ‘’Prix Ivoire pour la littérature africaine d’expression francophone 2012’’. Qui aura lieu le 1er décembre 2012 à Abidjan, placée sous la présidence du Ministre de la Culture et de la Francophonie. Alain Mabanckou est lauréat du grand prix de la littérature Henri Gal, Prix de l’Institut de France décerné par l'Académie Française. Quant à Jacques Chevrier, il est un universitaire français et par ailleurs, président de l'Association des écrivains de langue française, vice-président du Cercle Richelieu Senghor, directeur du Centre international d'études francophones (Université Paris IV ), puis, professeur émérite à l'Université Paris IV - Sorbonne. Il est aussi membre associé du Centre de recherche en littérature comparée à l'Université Paris IV - Sorbonne. Selon Isabelle Kassi Fofana, présidente de l’Association Akwaba Culture, structure initatrice dudit concours, les différents accords de principe ont été acquis pour permettre à ces écrivains d’effectuer le dépalcement d’Abidjan. Sur les trente-quatre (34) titres présentés par seize (16) maisons d’édition d’Afrique noire et du Nord, le pré-jury composé des critiques littéraires Michel Koffi, Auguste Gnaléhi et Henri N’Koumo, chargé de la sélection des ouvrages admis pour la finale du Prix Ivoire 2012 a retenu six (6) auteurs. A savoir le Tchadien Souleyman Abdelkérim Cherif, ‘’Quand l’évidence ne suffit plus’’ (roman, éd. L’Harmattan, 2012, 216 p.), les Sénégalais Ben Diagoye Beye, ‘’Le rêve de Latricia’’ (éd. Panafrika/Silex/Nouvelles du Sud, roman, 2011, 266 p.), Mariama Ndoye, ‘’L’Arbre s’est penché’’, roman, éd. Eburnie 2011, 129 p.), l’Ivoirienne Muriel Diallo, ‘’La Femme du Blanc’’ (roman, éd. Vents d’ailleurs, 2011, 184 p.), les Marocains Youssouf Amine Elalamy, ‘’Oussama mon amour’’ (roman, éd. La croisée des chemins, 2011, 187 p.) et Souad Mekkaoui, ‘’Plus forte que la souffrance’’ (éd. La croisée des chemins, nouvelles, 2012, 244 p.).

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Alain Mabanckou Speaks on Translation Ahead of the Publication of Black Bazaar

Alain Mabanckou Speaks on Translation Ahead of the Publication of Black Bazaar | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
  Alain Mabanckou, originally from the Republic of Congo and currently lecturing at the University of California, is the author of African Psycho, Memoirs of a Porcupine and several other acclaimed novels.
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Alain Mabanckou's wry novels, written in French, are finally being translated for U.S. audiences

Alain Mabanckou's wry novels, written in French, are finally being translated for U.S. audiences | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
In a UCLA classroom one day not long ago, Alain Mabanckou was teaching a course in post-colonial African fiction, which he instructs in his French mother tongue, one of several languages he speaks.
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For Alain Mabanckou, breakthrough translates well

For Alain Mabanckou, breakthrough translates well | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
In a UCLA classroom one day not long ago, Alain Mabanckou was teaching a course in post-colonial African fiction, which he instructs in his French mother tongue, one of several languages he speaks.

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After years of delays, English translations of his novels, which are written in French, lately have started to appear in the United States, giving readers here a chance to savor the mordant comedy and biting social commentary of books like "Broken Glass" and "Memoirs of a Porcupine."

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Le grand rire d’Alain Mabanckou | Slate Afrique

Le grand rire d’Alain Mabanckou | Slate Afrique | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Quand tant d’autres pleurent, l’écrivain congolais refuse de se définir en victime et gagne par le sourire, même quand il se penche sur «Le sanglot de l’homme noir».

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Mabanckou a redit son désaccord avec cette vision d’une communauté homogène des Noirs de France dont il n’a cessé d’expliciter les différences dans ses romans, et particulièrement l’avant dernier, Black Bazar (Editions du Seuil.

Au chapitre des langues, écrire en français ou dans sa langue maternelle, question qu’il aborde dans son livre en dialoguant avec le sénégalais Boubacar Boris Diop, l’écrivain s’explique face à une compatriote:

«Ma sœur, j’aimerais voir mes livres traduits en lingala par ceux qui ont une connaissance profonde de notre langue! Mais nos hommes politiques n’ont pas insisté sur l’enseignement des langues africaines dans nos pays, par exemple celui du wolof au Congo ou du lingala au Sénégal, et le vivier de lecteurs n’est pas préparé…»

Si sa pratique du lingala est essentiellement orale, Alain Mabanckou a écrit des chansons dans sa langue pour l’album Black Bazar qu’il a produit avec des musiciens de Kinshasa, et qui sortira au mois de mars, starring, notamment, Souleymane Diamanka, en chanteur sapeur (de la SAPE, société des ambianceurs et des personnes élégantes). Toujours en mars, — c’est dire les façettes variées du personnage —, l’auteur de Demain j’aurai vingt ans verra son roman paraître en poche avec une préface signée JMG Le Clézio. Le prix Nobel de littérature l’avait invité en novembre dernier à prononcer au Louvre une conférence où on le sentait, et c’est rare pour cet ambianceur partout à l’aise, intimidé par le contexte…

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