The languages & literatures of Africa: the sands of Babel

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James Currey, 2004 - Literary Collections - 230 pages
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Expanded and updated from the earlier French edition Litteratures d'Afrique noir (1995), African literatures are presented in a new perspective focusing on the dialogue between languages and literatures. An historical overview provides new insights into the literatures of Africa, both oral and written: orality is not always traditional, manuscripts are read aloud, and books have often been written in local languages, as well as in colonial languages. This book examines the dialogue between literatures written in different languages: Thomas Mofolo wrote in Sesotho and Sol Plaatje wrote in English but their novels Chaka (1926) and Mhudi (1931), should be read in counterpoint. The same could be said of Senghor and Soyinka, involved in a conversation on Africa's future that lasted for several decades. Many African writers write in several languages: from Okot p'Bitek (Acoli-English) to Ngugi wa Thiong'o (English-Gikuyu), and from Amadou Hampate Ba (Fula-French) to Alexis Kagame (French-Kinyarwanda). Focusingon linguistic consciousness and the place of language in the writer's consciousness, this book provides an original and comprehensive treatment of the African literary situation.

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Contents

Understanding Noun Classes
8
Tradition Orality
22
Poets the Texts
36
Copyright

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