Writing Madness

Borderlines of the Body in African Literature

Flora Veit-Wild



Introducing the perspective of 'writing madness' into African literature means seeing that literature from a different angle, through the lenses of writers who have ruffled up the surface of realist representation and have explored issues and styles that represent a trespassing of borders, introducing an element of risk and instability. This study follows the transformation from colonial narratives projecting settlers' horror of the 'heart of darkness' onto the African body and mind, to African writers' interaction with these narratives and their own projections of what constitutes madness in a colonial and postcolonial world, and an analysis of how writing by women displays the gendered violence of the process of mental colonisation.


[Veit-Wild] has adopted a unique perspective, or series of perspectives, based on the notion of 'madness'. - perceived madness, madness as device, actual madness, and the world as mad. - Clive Wake


Flora Veit-Wild is Professor of African Literatures and Cultures at Humboldt University, Berlin.