l'Humour et l'ironie en litterature francophone subsaharienne. Une poétique du rire

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Simedoh, Kokou Vincent
humour , littérature africaine , irony
Humour and Irony are identity markers that have long since been associated with Sub-Saharan francophone literary works. Intimately linked to Africa throughout the years, humour and irony have evolved hand to hand with socio-political situation of the continent and fulfill several functions: denouncing through laughter, varying sorts of injustices, playing down the tragic nature of a given situation and subverting individual or collective values. However, and perhaps more importantly, humour and irony belong the category of what Roland Barthes calls "verbal expedients" which allow a writer to avoid common and inadequat usage of language. In this way, we show by using the theorical frameworks of Bergson, Schopenhauer, Jankelevitch, Escarpit and Genette among many others just how humour and irony create a particular vision, one that shows the multiple ways in which we can perceive the world around us. They make possible the representation of what is undeniably real and bring out polysemous meannings(s) in that which may at first appear incongruous. Given the numerous interpretations that humour and irony offer for a given situation, theses devices thus constitute strategies that build different esthetics within the novel as a literary genre. The latter becomes a sort of semantic playgroung where the specific forms of humour and irony develop: parody, derision, sarcasm,the grotesque and the farce. It is in this way that a veritable "poetics oflaughter" becomes apparent within the novels that we have examined.
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