Australian Journal of French Studies

The Spectacle of Marie NDiaye's Trois femmes puissantes

Australian Journal of French Studies (2013), 50, (3), 385–398.

Abstract

This article interrogates the bizarre disjunction between the loosely-linked tales of Marie NDiaye's 2009 bestseller Trois femmes puissantes and the manner in which they have been marketed as a single, coherent, realistic novel about "strong African women". This deformation by the market has made NDiaye's previously more complex and oblique - but less economically viable - evocations of racialized "difference" somehow culturally digestible. Trois femmes puissantes, by being spectacularly hung on a largely imaginary hook named "Africa", lends itself to a cliché-ridden, neo-colonialist discourse, and is accordingly misrepresented, exoticized and commodified at every turn. Any genuine puissance the text itself might wield has been neutralized, sucked dry, and "dumbed down" by the powerful machine that is the Debordian "spectacle" of capitalist hegemony.

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Author details

Asibong, Andrew