Stereotypes Preserved: A Yellow Napoleon, The Heart of the Matter, Batouala, and Koffi

  • Sarah L. Milbury-Steen

Abstract

The four novels included in this chapter: A Yellow Napoleon (1928) The Heart of the Matter (1948), Batouala (1921) and Koffi (1922) will be analysed in terms of the racial stereotypes that their authors reinforce in their creation of African characters. While the works have not been arranged as a chronology of British or French colonial history, the fixed images of Africans they present do reflect the racial attitudes that prevailed in both colonial society and novels until the emergence of black nationalism after the Second World War.

Keywords

Foam Rubber Assimilation Petrol Wharf 

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Arthur Eustace Southon, A Yellow.Napoleon: A Romance of West Africa (Freeport, New York: Books for Libraries Press, 1972; first published in 1928) p. 14. All subsequent page references will be to this edition and will follow immediately in the text.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    G. D. Killam, Africa in English Fiction 1894–1939 (Ibadan: Ibadan Univ. Press, 1968) P. 54.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Graham Greene, The Heart of the Matter (New York: Viking Press, 1971) p. 16. All subsequent page references will be to this edition and will follow immediately in the text.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Derek Traversi, ‘Graham Greene: II. The Later Novels’, The Twentieth Century, vol. cxlix, no. 890 (April 1951) p. 325.Google Scholar
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    Traversi, p. 324. Kai Laitinen, ‘The Heart of the Novel: The Turning Point in The Heart of the Matter’, in Graham Greene: Some Critical Considerations, ed. by Robert O. Evans (Lexington: Univ. of Kentucky Press, 1963) p. 171.Google Scholar
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  8. 9.
    René Maran, Batouala: A True Black,Novel, trans. by Barbara Beck and Alexandre Mboukou (London: Heinemann Educational Books, 1973) p. 12. All subsequent page references will be to this edition and will follow immediately in the text.Google Scholar
  9. 12.
    Judith Illsley Gleason, This Africa: Novels by West Africans in English and French (Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern Univ. Press, 1965) p. 75.Google Scholar
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    Charles L. James, ‘Batouala: René Maran and the Art of Objectivity’, Studies in Black Literature, vol. iv, no. 3 (Autumn 1973) pp. 21–2.Google Scholar
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    Nicolas Godian, ‘Batouala Reassessed’, West Africa, no. 2934 (3 Sept. 1973) p. 1230.Google Scholar
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    Gaston Joseph, Koffi: roman vrai d’un noir (Paris: Editions du Monde Nouveau, 1922) p. 228. All subsequent page references will be to this edition and will follow immediately in the text. All translations of Koffi are mine.Google Scholar

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© Sarah L. Milbury-Steen 1980

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  • Sarah L. Milbury-Steen

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