Orality, trauma theory, and interlingual translation: a study of repetition in Kourouma's Allah n'est pas obligé

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Batchelor, Kathryn (2015)

The use of stylistic devices based around repetition in Ahmadou Kourouma’s Allah n’est pas obligé is usually taken as one of the markers of the novel’s link to oral story-telling traditions. It is, however, equally feasible to read such devices as markers of trauma, linking them for example to therapeutic story-telling and to the development of inner schemata adequate to the traumatic experience. This article presents a reading of Allah n’est pas that seeks to combine the concepts of translation-of-orality and transation-of-trauma, thus contributing to ongoing discussions around the postcolonializing of trauma theory. It also explores the implications of such a reading for postcolonial translation theory, and particularly the theorization of the translation of orality-inflected literature.
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