Clandestine, circumscribed and coded: Sexuality in Darko's beyond the horizon and Saadawi’s woman at point zero
Keywords:African sexuality, clandestine, circumscribed, taboo, sexual freedom
This paper explores sexuality in Amma Darko’s Beyond the Horizon (1991) and Nawal El Saadawi’s Woman at Point Zero (1975). The African tradition regards issues of sexuality as a suppressed discourse which is integrated into a discreet, symbolic language. The portrayal of sexuality and its modes in which individuals realise themselves as subjects of sexual desire have been widely studied but works in which these characters have been presented as subjects of concupiscence have received very little attention. Adopting Michel Foucault’s notion that the history of sexual experience involves the correlation between fields of knowledge, types of normativity and forms of subjectivity in a particular culture, this paper examines the libidinous practices of characters. The paper concludes, among other things, that: firstly, Darko and Saadawi’s writings represent the African notion which considers sexuality to be a silent discourse; secondly, both novels manifest various forms of psychosexual attitude by the characters and the quest for sexual freedom and power.