The African Imagination: Literature in Africa & the Black Diaspora

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Oxford University Press, 2001 - Literary Criticism - 296 pages
This collection of essays from eminent scholar F. Abiola Irele provides a comprehensive formulation of what he calls an "African imagination" manifested in the oral traditions and modern literature of Africa and the Black Diaspora. The African Imagination includes Irele's probing critical readings of the works of Chinua Achebe, Edward Kamau Brathwaite, Amadou Hampaté Bâ, and Ahmadou Kourouma, among others, as well as examinations of the growing presence of African writing in the global literary marketplace and the relationship between African intellectuals and the West. Taken as a whole, this volume makes a superb introduction to African literature and to the work of one of its leading interpreters.
 

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Contents

The African Imagination
3
Orality Literacy and Literature
23
African Letters The Making of a Tradition
39
Dimensions of African Discourse
67
Study in Ambiguity Amadou Hampaté Bás The Fortunes of Wangrin
82
Narrative History and the African Imagination Ahmadou Kouroumas Monnè outrages as défis
98
The Crisis of Cultural Memory in Chinua Achebes Things Fall Apart
115
Return of the Native Edward Kamau Brathwaites Masks
154
A National Voice The Poetry and Plays of John Pepper ClarkBekederemo
168
Parables of the African Condition The New Realism in African Fiction
212
Notes
247
Bibliography
267
Index
287
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About the author (2001)

F. Abiola Irele is at Ohio State University.

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