Comparative Approaches to African Literatures
Some of the essays in this book - notably those concerned with examining Western influences on sub-Saharan African writings (tracing Shakespearean and Brechtian echoes in Nigerian drama, for instance, or following the footprints of Sherlock Holmes in Swahili detective fiction) - fit the traditional definition of comparative literature. These are essays that cross national literary boundaries and sometimes transcend language barriers as well. They look for correspondences in related literary phenomena from widely dispersed areas of the globe, bringing together what is akin from what is akimbo. But most of the essays included here involve closer comparisons. Two focus on works produced in different languages within the same African nation (Yoruba and English in Nigeria, Afrikaans and English in South Africa), and one presents a taxonomy of dominant literary forms in English in three East African nations. Others concentrate on the oeuvre of a single author, and on the likely future output of exiled writers who soon will be returning home. One essay contrasts discursive tendencies within the same text, and another investigates conflicting African and Western religious beliefs. A great variety of comparative methodologies is deployed here; not all of these are transnational, multilingual or pluralistic in scope. The last two groups of essays deal with matters of characterization and authorial reputation. Studies of the depiction of African Americans, politicians and women in a wide range of African literary texts are followed by an assessment of the current standing of anglophone Africa's leading authors. In entering such highly contested terrain, the comparatist approach adopted has been that of the neutral witness to early African attempts - comparatist in their own way - to define an African canon of classic texts. Authors discussed include: Ama Ata Aidoo (Ghana); Chinua Achebe, John Pepper Clark, Cyprian Ekwensi, D.O. Fagunwa, Wole Soyinka and Amos Tutuola (Nigeria); Peter Abrahams, J.M. Coetzee, Nadine Gordimer, Alex La Guma, Thomas Mofolo, Es'kia Mphahlele and Karel Schoeman (South Africa).
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Abrahams African American African politician African writers Ajantala anglophone Arm ah award Awoonor BALE blood Bolekaja Brecht Brutus Bwana Musa Bwana Tojo Chaka chapbooks character Chinua Achebe Chinweizu Clark creative critics cross-references cultural drama East African literature Ekwensi essays Euro-assimilationist exile Fagunwa's Famous Authors fiction Guma head hero human independence Isanusi Jeyifo Kenya kill kind Kongi Lagos language literary living Liyong Lumumba Maillu Mangua marry minister Mofolo moral Mphahlele Muhammed Said Abdulla Najum narrative nationalist never Ngugi Nigerian Nigerian literature Nobel Prize novel Nzekwu Okara Okigbo Okot Opera Wonyosi p'Bitek Palm-Wine Drinkard party play political protest published readers Reputation Test Rotimi satire scene Sherlock Holmes significance social society song South Africa story Swahili Taban lo Liyong tell Threepenny Opera Tutuola Udomo University Western Wole Soyinka Yoruba Yoruba Folktales young
Page 6 - At the same time that the red fish appeared out, its head was just like a tortoise's head, but it was as big as an elephant's head and it had over 30 horns and large eyes which surrounded the head. All these horns were spread out as an umbrella. It could not walk but was only gliding on the ground like a snake and its body was just like a bat's body and covered with long red hair like strings. It could only fly to a short distance, and if it shouted a person who was four miles away would hear.
Aimé Césaire, Cahier d'un retour au pays natal et Tchicaya U Tam'si, Épitomé ...
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