Moral Responsibility in Genocide: Humanity as both Victim and Perpetrator in Gil Courtemanche’s Un Dimanche à la piscine à Kigali Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Peters, Angela
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Romance Studies
  • While the Rwandan Genocide was virtually absent from the news during the months of violence in the spring of 1994, there have since been many photos, films, books and news reports representing the atrocities. With all of these graphic depictions, it is important to pose the question of how one can justly and ethically represent the horror without overly simplifying the situation or exploiting the people by trying to sell the violence. In his hybrid novel, Un dimanche à la piscine à Kigali, Gil Courtemanche offers an example of an ethical representation of the terrifying events because he presents the crimes as committed both by and against humanity as a whole. He does not further perpetuate the racial stereotypes of Africans: either savage killer or worthless victim. Courtemanche refuses to further degrade the victims or to simplify the situation to make it seem like fictional horror, both of which would allow the reader to detach himself from the cruel reality. Instead, Courtemanche actually chooses to use voyeuristic literary strategy in order to implicate the reader in accusations against a world that failed in its response to the Rwandan genocide and to include the reader among the violated victims.
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  • In Copyright
  • ... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Arts in the Department of Romance Languages (French).
  • Fisher, Dominique D.
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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