Manuel Rui and Postcolonial Angola as it is Not

  • Lanie Millar University of Oregon
Keywords: Time, world literature, Global South, colonial temporalities, sea


This article analyzes Angolan author Manuel Rui’s short novel Memória de mar as offering both a case study and a methodology for revising notions of the “world” presumed in “world literatures,” locating it in the Global South. The characters in the novel travel in time in order to investigate the disappearance of an isolated Portuguese church, and in the process discover different pasts, presents, and futures than those dictated by colonial time. The novel thus enacts Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o’s call in Globaletics to reconstruct a view of the world, and a literary canon, from the South, but does so by exploring not metaphors of space but temporalities. I consider the time travel in the novel as a series of historical propositions and epistemological experiments through which the characters explore the broken time of the colonial period, as well as other possible presents and futures.