The rogue's progress : The In-between world of Vikram Lall

Title: The rogue's progress : The In-between world of Vikram Lall
Source document: Brno studies in English. 2011, vol. 37, iss. 2, pp. [87]-95
  • ISSN
    0524-6881 (print)
    1805-0867 (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license
M. G. Vassanji's novel The In-Between World of Vikram Lall is presented as an autobiographical narrative recorded by Vikram Lall, a fictional Kenyan Indian, whose life runs parallel with the history of his native country through the second half of the twentieth century. As the eponymous hero confesses in the opening lines of the story: "[He has] the distinction of having been numbered one of Africa's most corrupt men, a cheat of monstrous and reptilian cunning." Using the framework established by Philippe Lejeune in Le Pacte autobiographique (1975), this roguish life appears as a rogue autobiography as well since it "cheats" with the characteristics of the genre. The paper will attempt to show how the novel operates within such a framework and how the usual code is used or misused in the interest of suspense and satire.
[1] Genette, Gérard (1980 [1972]) Narrative Discourse: An Essay in Method. Tran. Jane E. Lewin. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

[2] Lejeune, Philippe (1975) Le Pacte autobiogaphique. Paris: Seuil.

[3] Rak, Julie (2010) 'Dialogue with the Future: Philippe Lejeune's Method and Theory of Diary'. In: Lejeune, Philippe (2010) On Diary. Ed. Jeremy D. Popkin and Julie Rak. Trans. Katherine Durnin. Manoa: Biographical Research Center, University of Hawaii. 16–26.

[4] Vassanji, M. G. (2010) 'Some Personal Notes on my Books'. M. G. Vassanji. 5 November 2010.

[5] Vassanji, M. G. (2003) The In-between World of Vikram Lall. Canada: Doubledubleday.