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Allah Is Not Obliged

por Ahmadou Kourouma

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3441656,494 (3.62)27
'The full, final and completely complete title of my bullshit story is: Allah is not obliged to be fair about all things he does here on earth' Birahima's story is one of horror and laughter. After his mother's death he travels to Liberia to find his aunt but on the way gets caught up in rebel fighting and ends up with a Kalashnikov in his hands. He tells of the chaotic and terrible adventures that follow in his career as a small soldier with heartbreaking bravado and wisdom.… (mais)
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» Ver também 27 menções

Mostrando 1-5 de 16 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
> Il s'appelle Birahima, il a dix ou douze ans et, comme beaucoup d'enfants, il joue au petit soldat avec une mitraillette. "C'est facile. On appuie et ça fait tralala." Sauf qu'ici, l'arme est bien réelle et les morts ne se comptent plus. Birahima fait partie de ces orphelins qui ont tout perdu et n'ont d'autre recours, malgré leur jeune âge, que de devenir des sortes de mercenaires dans les guerres tribales qui déchirent des pays comme le Liberia ou la Sierra Leone, les fameux enfants-soldats. Le tableau est atroce : c'est le règne du grand banditisme sous couvert d'activités soi-disant révolutionnaires, des massacres de populations civiles, les pires horreurs. "Mais Allah n'est pas obligé d'être juste avec toutes les choses qu'il a créées ici-bas." Tout est vrai, hélas, dans le livre d'Ahmadou Kourouma, qui n'est cependant pas un document mais bien un roman. Ce qui rend encore plus percutante l'horreur racontée par un enfant, avec un humour terrible, qui renvoie chacun à ses responsabilités et à sa mauvaise conscience. --Gérard Meudal

> Birahima, le narrateur de ce roman, a une dizaine d'années. Il retrace son itinéraire d'enfant-soldat de l'Afrique contemporaine, entre le Liberia et la Sierra Leone. Orphelin, jeté sur les routes en compagnie d'un marabout mi-philosophe mi-escroc, Birahima se fait enrôler par une bande de pillards/criminels. Kalachnikov en bandoulière, pour gagner sa solde, il va bientôt participer aux pires exactions.
-- Ahmadou Kourouma nous livre un récit picaresque et terrifiant sur une époque de massacres, dont les enfants sont les tristes héros. Comme l'Afrique est un continent un peu "oublié", en quelque sorte, je crois que l'auteur nous permet un peu de comprendre ce qui s'y passe. Par ailleurs, contrairement à un essai, ce roman est accessible à des lecteurs jeunes, dès le collégial. Il se lit sans effort. Toutefois, âmes sensibles s'abstenir… --Anne-Marie Tézine (ICI.Radio-Canada.ca)

> Dans Politique africaine 2000/4 (N° 80), pp. 79 à 89 (Cairn.info) : « Allah n'est pas obligé »
15/11/2012 ... Salué par la critique pour son roman précédent (« En attendant le vote des bêtes sauvages »), Ahmadou Kourouma connaît aujourd’hui la consécration avec « Allah n’est pas obligé » qui a obtenu le prix Renaudot, le prix Goncourt des lycéens et le grand prix Jean Giono. Dans une langue foisonnante, « Allah n’est pas obligé » relate, à la première personne, les pérégrinations de Birahima, un jeune enfant-soldat, dans la folie des guerres du Liberia et de Sierra-Leone. Par sa violence et son désespoir, mais aussi son insouciance et sa gaieté, le récit de Birahima illustre à sa façon le style de vie des small-soldiers ...

> Harzoune Mustapha. Ahmadou Kourouma Allah n'est pas obligé, Seuil, 2000.
In: Hommes et Migrations, n°1229, Janvier-février 2001. Vie associative, action citoyenne. pp. 140-141… ; (en ligne),
URL : https://www.persee.fr/doc/homig_1142-852x_2001_num_1229_1_5910_t1_0140_0000_3

> Allah n'est pas obligé, de Ahmadou KOUROUMA (Seuil, Paris 2000, 233 pages)
Se reporter à la critique de Madeleine BORGOMANO
In: (2001). Compte rendu de [Nouveautés]. Québec français, (122), p. 16… ; (en ligne),
URL : https://id.erudit.org/iderudit/55919ac

> [PDF] fiche pédagogique - Bruit de Lire
  Joop-le-philosophe | Dec 13, 2018 |
Facile à lire et très informatif. ( )
  myriamannacer | Feb 20, 2016 |
Told from the mouth of a child soldier was an interesting approach but it didn't work for me. The techniques used to suggest a hardened youthful voice were irritating and despite them the narrative did not feel as though it was coming from a child. It did provide an overview of the chaos in West Africa. ( )
1 vote snash | Apr 24, 2014 |
Oliver Twist crossed with Holden Caulfield? Kids crossed with Lord of the Flies? Bouncing back and forth between two civil wars, hopped up on hash and witchcraft? Birahima, our damaged li'l protagonist, weaves in and out of the West African hellscape, dancing between the tragedies like they turn to water as soon as they hit him. You root for him, the homicidal monster. You have to, because who else is availabe? Anyone who's not a killer is gonna get their arms and legs cut off by Foday Sankoh's RUF, or raped and decapitated by the Kamajors, an "Ivoirian Freemasonry of hunters," or tortured and executed by one of several cruel-beyond-belief "battle nun"–type figures who combine a kind of motherhood with a bloodlust that's cartoonish, mangaesque. Probably the kids will kill you fastest and feel worst about it.

This book got a lot of things across from me. What it means for animism to be an immanent part of daily life, as opposed to a shameful indulgence like here in Uganda (it means a lot more killing). How important it is for newspaper atrocities to be attached to stories that tell it like people would tell it--cruicially, with all the hardbitten irony and absurdist delight this child soldier can muster--in order for the bewildering history to stick to your brain, turn into something with bite and dimension. How they guy in charge will never leave well enough alone, because "he doesn't give a fuck, he controls the useful part of Sierra Leone!" and by the time he realizes he can't get away with controlling it any more, it's way, way too late for hum to even control his own life or safety. Not giving a fuck--being too lazy, as well as too afraid, to do anything other than what the crowd is doing, even if that's killing everybody, because at least it's a living and a laugh and better to be doing the hand-chopping than having it done to you--is so fucking human-sounding and leaves me quite sure that if you took us in a vaunted first-world country like Canada and subtracted wealth and subsistence and added a million guns and ethnic hatred, you'd have the exact same thing. It would have been easy for Kourouma to tug the heartstrings, but he doesn't do it directly--only when you stop to reflect are you overwhelmed--because any kid would choose, like Birahima, not to give a fuck, since the ones who don't remove themselves from consideration by dying. Dying, and the threat of death, change everything, and we'd all be something fucked-up like a thugged-out cannibal or a baby with no hands or a bloodthirsty nun, or we'd just be wraiths of a past when there were other choices. ( )
1 vote MeditationesMartini | Jun 12, 2012 |
This is like Pere Ubu traipsing through the jungles of West Africa seeking riches: the ribald and absurdist journey of a ten year old hired gun and his bullshit-talking, witch doctor guardian, both surviving their way through Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast and Liberia during their most violent years. Unlikely captures and escapes propel the narrator and his cohort from one camp of fighters to another and from one key moment of the wars to the next. Their movements give Kourouma the opportunity to tell the history of the wars that ravaged West Africa at the end of the twentieth century, though this strains the believability of his ten year old narrator--whose own needs and concerns disappear for many pages at a time, giving way to Kourouma's caustic history:

"The Black Nigger Natives worked as hard as wild beasts. The creoles got all the jobs as civil servants in the government and managers of the commercial businesses. And the colonial English colonists and the thieving double-crossing Lebanese pocketed all the money.";

"Foday Sankoh isn't duped by the democracy game. No sir. He doesn't want anything to do with any of it. He doesn't want a National Conference, he doesn't want free and fair elections. He doesn't want anything. He controls the part of the country with diamonds; he controls the useful part of Sierra Leone. He doesn't give a fuck."

"Allah is Not Obliged" moves quickly and unfolds like an oral history with numerous refrains and repetitions which are, in this case, largely profane. Kourouma seeks to explain the precociousness of his narrator as the result of a gift of numerous dictionaries from a deceased translator and these produce a much overused trope:

"Nobody can be obliged to do anything because no one's got the time to go round putting rebel fighters on trial for perjury in the fucked-up four-star chaos of tribal wars in Liberia ('perjury', according to my Larousse, means 'the deliberate, willful giving of false testimony under oath')."

These parenthetical definitions (which accompany the initial arrival of nearly 50% of larger words) are rather annoying and while Kourouma set himself up to underscore the inherent political bias of different dictionaries (since Birahima possesses at least four), he doesn't actually succeed on this mission. The choice of dictionary always seems random and unrevealing; so the one potentially interesting aspect of reminding his readers what words mean is lost.

I've avoided reading some of the denser histories of the conflict that serves as the context of this book, so I'm actually grateful to Kourouma's history and I enjoyed the pure ridiculousness of the narrator and his friends. The book's dark humor gives it a certain charm as do the funeral orations delivered by Birahima for his tiny dead friends.

It's hard for me not to like a book that treats the subject of child soldiers with *none* of the sentimentality and manipulation that the subject has received from other quarters. A small passage that seems to contain a bit of Kourouma's contempt for the plaintive (and I would argue, totally insincere) hand-wringing about young killers:

"The dead child-soldier was called Kid, Captain Kid. Now and again in his beautiful song, Colonel Papa le Bon chanted 'Captain Kid' and the whole cortege howled after him 'Kid, Kid'. You should have heard it. They sounded like a bunch of retards." ( )
3 vote fieldnotes | Jul 9, 2011 |
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Volterrani, EgiTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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'The full, final and completely complete title of my bullshit story is: Allah is not obliged to be fair about all things he does here on earth' Birahima's story is one of horror and laughter. After his mother's death he travels to Liberia to find his aunt but on the way gets caught up in rebel fighting and ends up with a Kalashnikov in his hands. He tells of the chaotic and terrible adventures that follow in his career as a small soldier with heartbreaking bravado and wisdom.

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