• Spaces of Magic: Couto’s Relational Practices

    Irene Marques (see profile)
    African literature (Portuguese), Portuguese speaking Africa, Africans--Social life and customs
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    epistemologies and ontologies of holism, Luce Irigaray, Mia Couto, Mozambique, relational practices, Lusophone African literatures and cultures
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    TThrough a detailed analysis of the story “The Three Sisters” from Mia Couto’s collection O Fio das Missangas (“The Bead Necklace”) published in 2004, I reveal how Couto recreates a space of magic where relational practices are at the forefront of existence. I analyse this specific story to reveal Couto’s relational practices and its accompanying ideas of enchantment and mystical apprehension of the world because the story centers on the relational in terms of male/female relationships (the inter-personal) while also allowing the relational to be explored in terms of the trans-human (the movement from the human self to the non-human self, the Grander Self). Furthermore, the fact that the story revolves around the importance of creativity (in various forms) and presents it as the mechanism that permits the self to break away from the socio-political restrictions imposed by the status-quo and connect with the uncanny (the Grander Self), allows me to emphasize how the relational is deeply linked to a way of being and seeing that can only be attained when one allows a poetic insight to come in, breaking away from the chains of the dissecting and restrictive angle of knowledge apprehension imposed by pure reason. My analysis also points to some similarities that exist between Couto’s writing with its close links to what I term African classical ontologies and epistemologies of holism and some aspects of Zen Buddhist philosophy and the philosophy of the French Feminist Luce Irigaray.
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    Book chapter    
    Last Updated:
    5 years ago
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