Meditations on African Literature

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Dubem Okafor
Greenwood Publishing Group, 2001 - Literary Criticism - 193 pages
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While African literature is presently enjoying much attention from the scholarly community, its heritage and identity are becoming less clearly defined. While Africa has a rich oral tradition, African writers find themselves writing in the languages of their colonial oppressors. So too, many of the best African writers now live outside Africa, particularly in North America. Much of the criticism of African literature is written by American professors, African writers sometimes teach their literature at American universities, and American publishers issue African literary works. At the same time, the political climate of many African countries has been detrimental to literacy and writing. This book explores many of the issues currently facing African literature.

Each chapter is written by an expert contributor, to provide the volume with a broad coverage of numerous topics related to the present state of African literature. The opening chapters examine issues of language and postcoloniality in African literary works. Later chapters discuss such concerns as the formation of an African literary canon, representations of history and ideology in African writing, the role of women in African literature, and African ritual theater. Through its various chapters, the volume makes clear that African writers continue to engage pressing social and political issues, and that they are intellectuals rather than entertainers.

 

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Contents

The Cacophonous Terrain or NigerianAfrican Literature
1
Language Theory and Modern African Literature Some More Questions
17
On the Concept Commonwealth Literature
35
Who Counts? DeCiphering the Canon
45
Five Nigerian Novels and Public Morality
55
Things Fall Apart Problems in Constructing an Alternative Etnnography
71
Historicity and the UnEveing of the African Woman Achebes Novels
79
OverDetermined Contradictions History and Ideology in Achebes A Man of the People
89
The AngloAfrican the Woman Question and Imperial Discourse
119
Impersonation in Some African Ritual and Festival Performances
133
Exile and Home Africa in Caribbean Theater
149
One Year in the First Instance
159
Select Bibliography
175
Index
185
About the Contributors
191
Copyright

The True Fantasies or Grace Ogot Storyteller
101

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About the author (2001)

DUBEM OKAFOR teaches world literature and African and postcolonial literatures at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania./e

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