SIGNS OF GENDERED VIOLENCE FROM THE THRESHOLD: THE EPIGRAPH IN NURUDDIN FARAH’S FROM A CROOKED RIB
Mots-clés :Epigraph, Farah, Gendered violence, Genette, Intertextuality, Transtex¬tuality
This study analyzes the meanings and symbolism of the epigraph in From a Crooked Rib. It demonstrates that this paratextual element reinforces the polyphonic allure of the story. It is also an expressive allusion to the gender-based inequality, at the core of patriarchal and religious metanarratives. Using, essentially, Gérard Genette’s insightful postulates on the paratext, in Palimpsest: Literature in the Second Degree (1997), and Paratexts: Thresholds of Interpretation (1997), the study puts into the limelight the intertextual connections between Farah’s story and others. It probes into the epigraphic citations in each part of the story and argues that these liminal devices are expressions of a gendered violence against Somali women. The analysis comes to the conclusion that, by opening the frontiers of his book to anterior narrative discourses, Farah confirms the existence of commonalities in women’s social malaise in male-centered societies. It affirms, in a final analysis, that From a Crooked Rib is an expression of its author’s womanist principles.