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Detecting globalisation, modernity and gender subjectivity in David Maillu's Benni Kamba 009 in Operation DXT

Msiska, Mpalive-Hangson (2009) Detecting globalisation, modernity and gender subjectivity in David Maillu's Benni Kamba 009 in Operation DXT. Journal of East African Studies 3 (1), pp. 132-152. ISSN 1753-1055.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17531050802682879

Abstract

Through a study of his detective novel, Benni Kamba 009 in Operation DX, and the debates surrounding the emergence of East African Popular literature in English, this paper reflects on the contribution of the Kenyan writer, David Maillu, to the production of a Popular discourse of Post-colonial African modernity. It argues that Maillu engages with the formation of new personal and public identities within a Post-colonial formation in which the Nationalist goal of full Decolonisation has given way to Neo-colonialism and an unethical Globalisation, facilitated by a corrupt leadership. It also contends that, whilst Maillu's adaptation of “the man of action” model from the classic Western Hardboiled novel offers him an imaginative hybrid counter-hegemonic narrative of agency and structure, it also blunts the radical edge of his proposal, as it forces him to accept undemocratic and patriarchal forms of power. Even so, the paper concludes that Maillu must be seen as a significant writer who has shown how African Popular literature in its heyday was not a purveyor of “corrupt” pleasures, but rather a site of serious debate about the character of Post-colonial modernity.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): African, popular literature, detective fiction, subjectivity, Maillu, globalisation, gender identity, postcolonial modernity
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Arts > English and Humanities
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2010 11:04
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:19
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/2668

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