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Postkoloniale Erzählungen in kolonialer Zeit- Histórias do Zaire von Alexandre Cabral in: Interkulturelle Polyphonie: der Einbezug von Stimmen und Motiven anderer Sprachen und Kulturen in die Literaturen der portugiesisch­sprachigen Welt und Galiciens (Axel Schönberger und Rosa Maria Sequeira)

Beitrag zur Rolle der Kulturwissenschaft in der Romanistik, zur Veröffentlichung in Lendemains vorgesehen.

The Congo is Within Us. Inner Landscapes with Poetical Expressions and Political Effects in Albert Sánchez Piñol's 'Pandora al Congo

The Congo, with its vast tropical forests and gloomy landscapes, became the symbol of African topography due to the immense adventure and travel literature that enjoyed increasing popularity since the last third of the 19th century, helping to form the structures of European imagination in the epoch of colonialism. European modernity, in which solid administrations and more or less established borders of nation states defined the norms of individual behavior, left no place for the type of chivalrous adventures poeticized in the medieval epics and novels of the early modern age. This exciting spirit could only find expression on a continent where the European hero takes up his perceived right to suppress chaos by establishing his own order.

These are the historical and poetical conditions addressed through the use of strong metafictional elements in the novel Pandora al Congo (2005) by contemporary Catalan author Albert Sánchez Piñol. Beginning as a draft of a shabby colonial popular novel enjoyed by the youth of the emergent colonial empires, this postmodern pastiche covers a colonial perception of reality, distorting the skeptical view of the enlightened and critical observer. Anything that resists European common sense seems possible in the Congo, where civilized people defend mankind at a bloody border between culture and barbarism. Thus, the murderer, Garvey, who is presumed to be a reliable eye-witness, succeeds in freeing himself from any wrongdoing and is even celebrated as a Savior of mankind. Ultimately, he opens Pandora's Box to unleash the demons of prejudice and superstition.

On the eve of the First World War, even the vision of a living subterrestrial people who are about to make an assault on humanity appears conceivable. By weaving tropical landscapes with the magic of a fascinating and gruesome world, the novel puts Western views of Africa and the Congo on trial; one which has until now by no means lost its validity.