L’invisible dans The Famished Road de Ben Okri Article - 1993

Xavier Garnier

Xavier Garnier, « L’invisible dans The Famished Road de Ben Okri  », commonwealth, 1993, pp. 50-57


Ben Okri’s novel is not the fruit of an over-active imagination but the faithful report of a demanding and unique foray into reality. There is a duality to the fictional world of The Famished Road. But, for Azaro, the spirit child, this duality does not exist, he sees the invisible among the visible. Between the forms that are familiar to us, Azaro dicerns dynamic mist-like figures. The spirit-world appears only when the tangible forms of the familiar start to fade away. It was no accident if Ben Okri chose a child protagonist to lead him into his overwhelming experience, because a child’s knowledge of forms is new, and therefore fragile. In co-existence with the world ofsolid forms that the adults havec learnt to recognize, there also exists the fluid world of these ever-changing figures that our inadventurous minds dare contemplate only in the clouds. Ben Okri refuses this self-censorship in order to lead us into the very heart of reality.

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