Narratives of Catastrophe tells the story of the relationship between catastrophe, in the senses of "downturn" and "break," and narration as "recounting" in the senses suggested by the French term r�cit in selected texts by three leading writers from Africa.
Qader's book intervenes in important ways in the current scholarship on African literatures. It shows the contributions of African literatures in elucidating theoretical problems for literary studies in general, such as storytelling's relationship to temporality, subjectivity, and thought. Moreover, it addresses the issue of storytelling, which is of central concern in the context of African literatures and which still remains limited mostly to the distinction between the oral and the written. The notion of r�cit breaks with this duality by foregrounding the inaugural temporality of telling and of writing as repetition.
The final chapters examine catastrophic turns within the philosophical traditions of the West and in Islamic thought.
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Fordham University Press
March 15, 2009
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