Oral Tradition in African Literature
196 pages
English

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196 pages
English
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Description

This study of oral tradition in African literature is borne from the awareness that African verbal arts still survive in works of discerning writers and in the conscious exploration of its tropes, perspectives, philosophy and consciousness, its complementary realism, and ontology, for the delineation of authentic African response to memory, history and other possible comparisons with modern existence such as witnessed in recent developments of the African novel. In this series we have strived to adopt innovative and multilayered perspectives on orality or indigeneity and its manifestations on contemporary African and new literatures. These studies use multi-faceted theories of orality which discuss and deconstruct notions of history, truth-claims and identity-making, not excluding gender and genealogy (cultural and biological) studies in African contexts.

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Publié par
Date de parution 04 septembre 2015
Nombre de lectures 3
EAN13 9789783703681
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 2 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,1000€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

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ORAL TRADITION  in African Literature©Smith and Ce (Eds.)©African Library of Critical Writing Print Edition ISBN:9789783603592 All rights reserved, which include the rights of reproduction, storage in a retrieval system, or transmission in any form by any means whether electronic or recording except as provided by International copyright law. Formatted for print and electronic [epub and econtent] editions by Handel Books Ltd. For information address please write: Progeny (Press) International Attn: African Books Network 9 Handel Str. AI EBS Nigeria WA Email:handelbooks@yandex.comMarketing and Distribution in the US, UK, Europe, N. America (Canada), and Commonwealth countries by African Books Collective Ltd. PO Box 721 Oxford OX1 9EN United Kingdom Email:orders@africanbookscollective.com
Contents Introduction
Chapter 1
Re-visioning African Writing
Issues in Oral Tradition
Chapter 2
The Folktale in Achebe’s Fictions
Oral Dynamics of Things Fall Apart
Chapter 3
Orality in the Works of Ousmane Sembène
Chapter 4
Oral Multidimensional Collage in Recent Fiction
Chapter 5
The Mythic Context of Le Jujubier du patriarche
Chapter 6
Oral Performance among the Graffi
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13
30
51
69
88
123
134
Chat
Chapter 8
Sembene: Last Chat with an African Griot
Notes and Bibliography
10
150
Introduction THE publication by Amos Tutuola of his novel The Palm Wine Drinkard in 1952 brought to the fore the rich pool that oral traditions of Africa offered for writers who recognised its vast potential for the creative ente rprise. Yet it was The African Child by Laye Camara, in 1953, which placed the griot in a central creative profes sion that brings history, tradition, culture and literacy in their fullest intersections with African education. And with the publication of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, i n 1958, and Arrow of God, in 1964, the rich tradition al heritage of the African world found its most dynami c expression in serious literary engagement. While much studies have been made of the oral repertoire, and its significance for modern writing by literary scholars, attempts to maintain a one dimensional study of oral craft have not yielded the desired coherent and contemporaneous application of orality to literature. Ironically, the study of oral literature as a genre existing on its own terms and structures and formulae has on ly tended to place the traditions in pristine isolatio n from contemporary literary developments. Regrettably, or al studies (orature) have waned on the syllabi of many
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African universities as the written form seems to eclipse the oral space. Our commitment to the study in oral traditions is borne from the awareness that African verbal arts s till survive in works of discerning writers, and in the conscious exploration of its tropes, perspectives, philosophy and consciousness, its complementary realism, and ontology, for the delineation of authe ntic African response to memory, history and all possibl e confrontations with modern existence such as witnessed in recent analyses of the African novel. These studies use multifaceted theories of orality which discuss and deconstruct notions of history, truthclaim, identi ty making, genealogy (cultural and biological), and gendered ideologies. In this series we have strived to adopt innovative and multilayered perspectives on orality or indigeneity and its manifestations on contemporary African and new literatures. Here therefore is an important contrib ution which integrates the oral traditions of African wri ting within new and relevant contemporary expressions through exploring the literary permutations of oral traditional performance in the works of several Afr ican writers.   
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Chapter 1 Re-visioning African Writing
C.Ce THERE are times that we are constrained to admit to ourselves that sparing the bright chap literatures of Southern Africa's liberation writings in a fictional or life writing sense to 'tell the truth' about the experie nces of real people or situations (Coullie 7) the best of o ur writing are pale products of African art because th ey struggle as facsimiles of real or imagined hegemoni c Western traditions. It remains uncertain, however, how many living authors and critics would concede some praise for the new poetics that must discard this a ging school that foisted imitative craft and visioning o n African writing as some bold critics and revisionists of the canons had tried to show. It is now a long time ago when this seed of handicap was laid in African writing, probably unwittingly, in the overtures of our 'modern’ writers and critics. These were Africa’s Western educated men and women who, faced with the singular evidence of purposive aesthetics in the hierarchy of communal values, turned to vaunted Grecian
celebrities and celebrators of human moral disfigurement. Maybe this was because they were obligated, in Palmer’s terms, to convince readers of the realism of the wo rld being presented (4) or amuse them with the sterile voyeurism of imperial cultures. But a few have preferred that we chart an alternate, clearer vision for Afri can writing–with the impetus of its historical cultural specifics–which requires that one must needs recove r some flickering remnants of arcane light (ancestral wisdom) for a further enlightened posterity. The supposition for a reassessment of cultural direction from a firmly rooted indigenous structure took strong roots long before projects such as “the independent propagation of African thought and aesthetics”1 and the famous decolonisation treatise s by some Afrocentric scholars2 along with the work of poets, statesmen and visionaries, began to turn their backs at the formations of theory, philosophy and education alon g frequently racial and languagedominant paradigms. At the close of his autobiographical series in A Dream of Africa Camara Laye had inserted an injunction to fellow African writers: Never forget the enemy is not a race… but a gang of profiteers. Fight against that gang; entrust your country to reliable men, to men who have already shown their mettle: then you will open the gates of your countr y to the entire world, to all the intelligence and expertise that may be found among all the peoples of the world, to all those qualities that urge people to conquer everything in the domains of the intellect, of art, of technology.3
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