Beti, Mongo

▪ 2002
Alexandre Biyidi 
      Cameroonian novelist and political writer (b. June 30, 1932, Mbalmayo, Cameroon—d. Oct. 8, 2001, Douala, Cameroon), was a critic of colonialism, which he believed destroyed traditional African society, and of the authoritarian regime that ruled Cameroon after independence in 1960. He was widely translated and gained an international reputation. He was the son of the owner of a cocoa plantation and was educated in Cameroon before going to France in 1951 to study at the Sorbonne. In the late 1950s he took a position teaching literature at the Lycée Corneille in Rouen, France, where he remained for 30 years. He published his first novel, Ville cruelle (1954), on the exploitation of peasants, under the pseudonym Ezra Boto. His second novel, Le Pauve Christ de Bomba (1956), appeared under the name Mongo Beti, which he used thereafter. Considered his most important work, the book was a satire on the influence of Roman Catholic missionaries in Africa. Mission terminée (1957), published in the U.K. as Mission to Kala and in the U.S. as Mission Accomplished, was an attack on French colonial policy. Maine basse sur le Cameroun (1972) was banned in both France and Cameroon. Other novels included Remember Ruben (1974) and its sequel, La Ruine presque cocasse d'un polichinelle (1979), which told of revolutionaries who defeated a French-backed regime in their native country. Later novels, such as Les Deux Mères de Guillaume Ismaël Dzewatama, futur camionneur (1982), dealt with mixed marriages. In 1978, with his French-born wife, he founded Peuples Noirs/Peuples Africains, a journal opposing neocolonialism in Africa. He returned to Cameroon in the 1990s.

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▪ Cameroonian author
also called  Eza Boto , pseudonyms of  Alexandre Biyidi-Awala  
born June 30, 1932, Mbalmayo, Cameroon
died October 8, 2001, Douala

      Cameroonian novelist and political essayist.

      A member of the Beti people, he wrote his books in French. An essential theme of Beti's early novels, which advocate the removal of all vestiges of colonialism, is the basic conflict of traditional modes of African society with the system of colonial rule. His first important novel, Le Pauvre Christ de Bomba (1956; The Poor Christ of Bomba), satirizes the destructive influence of French Catholic missionary activities in Cameroon. It was followed by Mission terminée (1957; also published as Mission to Kala and Mission Accomplished), which attacks French colonial policy through a young man who, upon returning to his village with some hesitation because he has failed his college examinations, discovers himself to be not only revered by the villagers for his achievements but also alienated from their way of life.

      After publishing another novel, Beti stopped writing for more than a decade. When he resumed, his criticism focused on the colonial characteristics of Africa's postindependence regimes. Main basse sur le Cameroun (1972; “Rape of Cameroon”), a book explaining the emplacement of a neocolonial regime in his homeland, was immediately banned in France and in Cameroon. Two years later he published the novels Perpétue et l'habitude du malheur (1974; Perpetua and the Habit of Unhappiness) and Remember Ruben (1974). Perpetua is a mystery story of the murder of a promising young woman by the combined forces of backward traditions and neocolonial evils. Remember Ruben and its sequel, La Ruine presque cocasse d'un polichinelle (1979; “The Nearly Comical Ruin of a Puppet”), chronicle the fortunes of several revolutionaries who fight against and defeat a French-backed regime in their newly independent country. Some of Beti's later novels, including Les Deux Mères de Guillaume Ismaël Dzewatama, futur camionneur (1983; “The Two Mothers of Guillaume Ismaël Dzewatama, Future Truckdriver”), concern interracial marriage. Among his other works are La France contre l'Afrique (1993; “France Against Africa”), a discussion of the French African policy, and the novel Trop de soleil tue l'amour (1999; “Too Much Sun Kills Love”).

      In 1978 Beti launched Peuples Noirs/Peuples Africains (“Black Peoples/African Peoples”), a political and cultural bimonthly periodical devoted to the exposure and defeat of neocolonialism in Africa. An outspoken opponent of Ahmadou Ahidjo, who governed Cameroon from 1960 to 1982, Beti settled in France before Cameroon achieved independence in 1960; he returned to his native country in the early 1990s. Most of his books were originally banned in his native country.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Mongo Beti — Mongo Beti. Alexandre Biyidi Awala (30 de junio 1932 8 de octubre 2001), conocido como Mongo Beti, fue un destacado escritor de Camerún. Después de un período de estudios universitarios, comenzó la publicación de sus obras, que se caracterizan… …   Wikipedia Español

  • BETI (M.) — BETI ALEXANDRE BIYIDI dit MONGO (1932 ) Né près de Yaoundé, au Cameroun, Alexandre Biyidi s’est fait connaître en littérature sous les pseudonymes d’Eza Boto, puis de Mongo Beti. Professeur de lycée en France, il fonde en 1979 une revue, Peuples… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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  • Beti — ist die Bezeichnung für: Beti (Sprache), eine Bantusprache Beti (Volk), die Beti Pahuin, ein Volk in den Gebieten des Regenwaldes, Kamerun Beti ist Personenname von: Mongo Beti (1932–2001), kamerunischer Schriftsteller D …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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