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Identité, langues et savoirs dans <i>Riwan ou le chemin de sable</i> de Ken Bugul

Roger Fopa Kuete


English Title: Identity, languages and knowledge in Ken Bugul’s Riwan ou le chemin de sable

This paper, which draws its analytic and hermeneutic postulate from  epistemocriticism, studies the mechanism of renegotiation of identity in Ken Bugul’s Riwan ou le chemin de sable (Riwan, or the Sandy Path). It demonstrates that the narrator decides to return to her native land because she is afraid of losing connection with herself. The study analyses the return to the native land not as a withdrawal to one’s identity but as a kind of poetizing of one of many various ways of life found within contemporary Senegalese society. The paper explores different forms of representation in cultural Senegalese knowledge through the perspectives of savoirêtre (knowledge of how to behave) and savoir-dire (knowledge of how to express) which take into account taboo and customary rituals. These articulations of traditional knowledge are the keys from which the narrator reconnects with her origins and thus manages to reconstruct her ethnic identity.

Keywords: Ken Bugul, Riwan ou le chemin de sable, identity, languages, socioculture