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Art Gallery the Eye and the Hand

Black African Literature
Modern literature of Black Africa lies at the confluence of various trends: its
own traditions and diverse, the impact of Islamic and Arab worlds;
the pervasive influence of European colonialism and Christianity. Africans
have been particularly prolific since the Second World War;
using French, English, Portuguese and more than forty African languages, they
made up of poetry, fiction, drama, and invented forms of writing
for which there is no description in the European literary world. Their
works portray the modern political and social reality, and focus on
value systems, whether or not African. At the same time, their writings
are based on indigenous traditions and world views typically
Long before Europeans arrived, even before the development of writing,
peoples of sub-Saharan Africa have expressed their thoughts in an artistic manner,
their feelings and concerns the deepest in the form of myths,
legends, allegories, parables and stories, songs and chants from
poems, proverbs, riddles and theater. Some traditional forms of
oral literature have survived until today, while new forms do
cease to appear. They express as well as contemporary themes
themes of the past. Their styles are influenced by the outside world, as in
different cultures found in Africa. They have adapted to the influences
modern and influence themselves different modes of writing contemporaries.
The traditional literatures provide the frame of new structures,
new techniques and new styles that transcend the literary models
frozen imposed by Europe.
Oral tradition
Oral tradition is a testament that one generation passes to the next, which
includes not only what we tell of past events, but also
any oral literature in which imagination has its share. Do not consider oral
as the absence of writing, which would define it negatively, by a lack;
in reality, the African tradition of oral literature is also rich in content and
variety than any other cultural sphere which uses writing.
However, his study is the subject of a different methodology must accommodate
the shape of the transmission of traditions, myths, stories, etc..
This tradition is less familiar to the Western world that African art as it was
little studied and has not experienced similar forms of transmission. The prose narratives -
Myths, legends, folk tales, anecdotes and jokes - are forms of
oral literature who have undergone the most extensive collection, but found in
African society and other forms of expression, just as important. These are the
proverbs, riddles, song lyrics and drama, poetry, names
praising individuals (Honours), and the sentences are very difficult to
decision. These forms are remarkably homogeneous base perennials, even
among urban residents despite the rapid cultural changes that
urban areas face. In fact, some governments have relied on
traditional literature to promote ideas of identity and solidarity
nationalists. The influence of oral legacy is clearly felt in the subject,
the style and spirit of the works of many contemporary writers.
Myths and legends
It was felt that existed in Africa more than two hundred fifty thousand myths
legends and folktales. In most prose narratives, we see the
same kind - of intrigue - and the same content - incidents, characters and objects -
than those found in other cultural spheres of the Old World, Unit
resulting from the mixing of cultures. Yet every African society has shaped these
elements within its own literature, according to its own modes of thought,
As one insider Fulani: "Knowledge is knowledge of man, but also
anything that is not man, because he has been given to know that was not him "
(Hampaté Amadou Ba Koumen).
Among the most famous myths transcribed by anthropologists are myths
Dogon, in their book The Pale Fox, Marcel Griaule and Germaine Dieterlen
thus define the myths: "explanations of indigenous protests
nature (anthropology, botany, zoology, geology, astronomy, anatomy and
physiology) as social facts (social, religious and political
technical, arts, economics, etc..) ". Myths and legends are rarely
Differentiated history in indigenous classifications, but considered the
contrary as true historical accounts as distinguished from folk tales,
supposedly fictitious. Magical tales featuring animals such as turtles,
hare, rabbit, goat or spider are the best known of African stories.
In the magical stories featuring men and gods, we find
mainly kings and commoners, twins, hunters, ogres, and
"Little people".
Proverbs, riddles and stories
Proverbs are often used to strengthen arguments, and to enrich
conversation. Use them with skill is, in African societies, a sign
erudition and elegance of expression. Many proverbs are very subtle,
and can not be understood by listeners familiar with the culture of the
which states, so the study of proverbs she offers a clear view of values
basis of a cultural group.
Riddles have been much less studied than the proverbs as they are
primarily used by children. Rather they are formulated as
statements as questions, and the relationship between the query and response
may be subtle enough to require a thorough knowledge of the matrix
culture. There are also riddles intonation (representations linked
only by the similarity of intonation), or riddles, proverbs (sayings related
by the way, but that can be used independently). Sometimes guessing not
are not intended to surprise the audience, but to establish a kind of social dialogue
in which responses are known to all, and uttered in unison. In most
African societies, most group members know the riddles.
The tale, raised in Africa among the fine arts, may in some societies, be
narrated by professional storytellers. Folk tales are generally
recounted the evening during the dry season, and the interaction between the narrator and the audience
often reaches heights of drama. The storyteller is a good actor
consumed, using his hands, his voice and body to enhance its effects, when
mimics the magician's tricks, or stalking the hunter. Riddles above
often narrative and storytelling is punctuated with music and songs, with the
public participation. The audience can answer a question of the narrator, or make
Office of choir accompanying the songs solo. As in the
course of history, the public can express its approval or criticize
narrator judge whether his performance unsatisfactory.
Functions of the oral tradition
The various forms of oral literature serves several functions in the
African society. Distractions, they also have educational value
Youth, broadcast rituals and beliefs, encourage compliance with
cultural norms, and provide psychological relief in a
institutionalized. Often, a set of good education is added at the end of
tales told to children, to emphasize its moral implications. Riddles
used to stretch the minds of young people, just as the riddles of unknown
response, which have the same function from their elders. Myths authoritative
field of supernatural belief and ritual practice, and serve to justify
land ownership, social status and political authority. Proverbs may
be used in everyday conversation to guide, encourage, compliment,
admonish or disapprove. They are sometimes cited in the courts as
precedents in the course of an argument, or used as fireworks
rhetoric to impress the judges. Associations among theater people
Ibibio-speaking (south-eastern Nigeria) use of skits performed by
of humans and puppets to exert social pressure on people
or groups failing to comply with cultural precepts. Finally,
distortions of reality in these cultural stories can symbolize
the fulfillment of a wish. The characters of the tales often act as
people wish to do so if they were prevented by the social limitations.
Thus, storytelling plays a cathartic role.
Written literature
The current literature written, such as oral literature, go far back
in the past. Antar (Antara Ibn Shaddad al-Absi), a warrior-poet Afro-Arab death
in 615, before the advent of Islam, is at the center of a famous epic entitled the
Romance of Antar, 10 volumes, 1865-1877; Antar, a Bedouin from the novel, 4 volumes,
1819-1820 (third full translation). Parts of this prototype
Arabic romance of chivalry were written by Antar himself. His narrators are created
their own style and were named "Antares" antariyya. Some poems of Antar
and other long poems of the Roman reference to his African origins, and that is
first classical work in which we find evidence of bias related to the color
of the skin. The black poet Abu Dulama ibn al-Jaun, who died in 777, wrote poetry
witty for the Abbasid court of Baghdad. Ziryab (Abul Hasan Ali ibn Nafi), a
Afro-Persian known as the "Nightingale black, went to 822 in Spain, where
he contributed significantly to the evolution of poetry, music and song
All these poets were born slaves. Other writers made themselves uprooted African
known in different parts of Europe, and later the Americas. Among them,
include Juan Latino (born in Guinea), who wrote in Latin, and Afonso Alvares, the first
write in a European language (Portuguese). The experience of slavery and
postage has inspired what is probably the first story of African exile
compound in a European language: The Interesting Narrative of the Life of
Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa The African, Written by Himself (1789). In
this autobiography, Equiano describes his childhood in Nigeria, his kidnapping, his life
slave in the American South and the Caribbean, and finally his life as a free man
Great Britain.
The earliest traces of written literature in Africa date back to the eighteenth century,
a manuscript in Swahili Ubendi Tambuka wa ("the epic poem Tambuka"), dated
1728. In the nineteenth century, there were poetry Joaquim Dias Cordeiro da Matta
(Angola) and Caetano da Costa Alegre (Sao Tome) and various works in
Xhosa South Africans: poems and autobiographical narratives and fiction by Samuel
E. K. Mqhayi; poems and hymns Kobe Ntsikane; didactic poetry of William W.
Gqoba; written protest Hadi Waseluhlangani called "the Harp
people ".
The pioneers of the twentieth century
Among the authors pioneers of modern African black literature before 1945 is
detached four figures, three of which are expressed in African languages.
The first modern novelist of the continent to achieve recognition
International Mofolo Thomas (South Africa), wrote three major works
Southern Sotho fiction: oa bochabela Moeti (1907, the traveler from the East, 1934), narrative
allegorical of African life in the old days and the conversion of Africans to
Christianity Pitseng (1910), a love story telling in a village
education and courtship of two young people, and the most famous of the three,
Chaka (1925), a fictionalized biography of the great heroic figure in history
Zulu, published for the first time in 1925, then translated in many
European languages. In the three novels, one finds the expression of culture
Christian Mofolo, but also the revelation of a deep identification with
his own people and its cultural traditions.
Jean-Joseph Rabearivelo (Madagascar) provides a tragic example of the impact of
colonialism on an imaginative and impressionable. Rabearivelo learns
French self-taught, and dreams of meeting the French poets he admired from afar.
His country became a prison for her physical, moral and intellectual, which the
lead to despair and suicide. Although it takes its inspiration from poets
France, he joined in his work the quality of oral poetic form Madagascar
"Hain-teny, and develops the technique of metaphor. His poetry becomes
substitute for the freedom he believes never have known. Much of its
work consists of four volumes: Sylves (1927), Volumes (1928), Presquesonges
(1924, published in 1934), and Translated from the night (1935).
Shaaban Robert (Tanzania), is the first African writer to tackle in Swahili
different genres, inspired many English and African models. This is a master
traditional techniques, but he writes to be read more than to be sung. Shaaban
is the first to campaign for recognition as the main language of Swahili
throughout East Africa and writes short stories and poems for an audience,
like him, did not follow higher education. His essays, on subjects very
variety, are collected in Insha Kielezo cha (1954, 'Testing models), and other
works in a series of volumes entitled Diwani ago Shaaban (from 1959).
Modern prose fiction in Yoruba knows its real beginnings in 1939 when
Olorunfemi Fagunwa (Nigeria) wrote Ode Ninu Igbo Ogboju Irunmale, translated by
Wole Soyinka as The Forest of a Thousand Daemons (1968). An old
hunter recounts his adventures in the jungle. Many of his stories are
folk tales, illustrating the Yoruba beliefs regarding spirits, ghosts,
and strange things can happen in the forest. At the same time, the book
depicts the ordinary problems of daily living in traditional homes, the
punctuated by moral or ethical considerations. The three novels following Fagunwa
- Igbo Olodumare (1946, "Forest of the Lord"), Irek-Onibudo (1948, "the stick of
custody "), and Ninu Igbo Irinkerindo Elegbeje: Apa Olodumare Keta (1954," Adventures
Elegbeje in the forest ") - are all the story of a quest. His latest work, Adiitu
Olodumare (1961, "the secret of God"), is more realistic. Fagunwa showed how
the foundations of popular culture could be integrated into modern fiction. This
doing so, he convinced the educated Yoruba in the value of their inheritance
traditional, and exerted a major influence on other writers Nigerians.
Modern fiction
Following in the footsteps of Fagunwa, and frequently using the same elements, Amos
Tutuola (Nigeria) is the author of six works of fiction in English that have retained
the international attention: the Drunk in the bush (1952, translated into French
by Raymond Queneau, original title The Palm Wine Drinkard); My Life in the Bush
of Ghosts (1954, 'my life in the bush of ghosts "); Simbi and the Satyr
Black Jungle (1955, Simbi & the Satyr of the Dark Jungle), The Brave African
Huntress (1958, "the brave African hunter"), The Feather Woman of the
Jungle (1962, "Women-pen"); Ajayi and His Inherited Poverty (1967, "How
Ajaiyi received an inheritance of poverty "). All these stories are quests mystics,
novels that use of Yoruba tales and legends, in an English-like
the popular idiom, but makes extensive use of modern references - the
X-rays, son, electric horn, and "the ghost whose hands are
The publication in 1958 of Things Fall Apart (Things Fall Apart), by Chinua Achebe
mark the rise of the modern novel in English in Black Africa. Achebe put it in his
African fiction everybody, and his style owes much to the oral tradition
dialect, the use of proverbs, the pace and content of speech. The world
collapses tells the story of dismay of a small community of Nigeria, hitherto
cohesive and well organized, when the first missionaries and
Colonial officials persuaded some to abandon their native
traditional beliefs. The Malaise (1960, No Longer At Ease) is a sequence centered
a young man steeped in European aspirations, who returns to his village
after having studied in England. The Arrow of God (1964, Arrow of God)
shows Christianity as a divisive force in African society. The
struggle between the gods has been completely set within the political arena.
In the 1960s, writers of fiction turn their English-speaking
more attention to contemporary problems. In the Demagogue (1966, A Man
of the People), Achebe uses satire to criticize the corrupt government and
policy unit. The novel The Interpreters (1965, The Interpreters), Wole
Soyinka (Nigeria), offers a kaleidoscopic view of urban life in Africa,
means of simultaneous misadventures of five different "hero." Season
anomie (1973, A Season of Anomy) is an allegory illustrating the experiences of
Nigeria under civilian governments and military authoritarianism. The novels of Ayi
Kwei Armah (Ghana) - Two thousand seasons (1973-1974, Two Thousand Seasons)
Fragments (1970), and The Golden Age is not for tomorrow (1969, The Beautiful Ones
Are Not Yet Born) - provide an assessment of reconstruction and visionary of the past,
and simultaneously, a very realistic view of corruption and moral decline
independent Africa. The allegorical novel This Earth, My Brother ... (1971)
Kofi Awoonor (Ghana), describes the mental breakdown of a young man in the middle of
moral confusion room.
Fiction black African French-speaking emphasizes the fight against
colonialism, the search for identity and struggle against tyranny after
independence. Mongo Beti (Cameroon) attempted to destroy the contenders
political superiority, cultural and spiritual. His new detonate both
Christian myths and colonial. Cruel town (1954) describes the life of African farmers
a holding timber belonging to Europeans. The Poor Christ
Bomba (1956), Mission completed (1957), and King miracle: Chronicle Essazam
(1958) are studies of satirical absurdity and cruelty of colonial rule.
Remember Ruben (1974, the title is in English) and Perpetua (1974) deal with the fight
Just before independence, and the impact of authoritarian rule over individuals. The
Ruins of a bun almost comical (1979) uses the same themes, but
taught independence.
The style of Ferdinand Oyono (Cameroon), a realistic manner, decorated with a
mordant humor and a gift for observation mercilessly dominated his major novels,
Une vie de boy (1956), Old Negro and the Medal (1956), and Paths of Europe
(1960). The imaginative reconstruction of a world vision and reality
authentically African permeates the work of Camara Laye (Guinea), either
autobiography in moving and full of poetry entitled The Dark Child (1953), or
Look in the King (1954), a complex allegory of the interaction between values
Africa and Europe.
Ousmane Sembene (Senegal) had an international reputation both as
as filmmaker and as a novelist. His novels The Black Docker (1956),
Oh country, my beautiful people! (1957), God's Bits of Wood (1960), L'Harmattan
(1964), and the End of Empire (1981) are designed as epics combining
revolutionary fervor and vision especially humanistic, going well beyond
realistic narrative description of strengths and weaknesses of the human being,
heroism and community solidarity.
Ngugi wa Thiong'o (Kenya) became the main writer of modern Africa
Eastern. His first three books describe Africans under colonial rule.
Kids, do not cry (1964, Weep not, Child) is a story of poverty and
suffering during the war of independence of his country. River of Life (1965, The
River Between) takes place during the founding of the Movement for Kikuyu schools
independent attempt to offer a real alternative to the missionary. And
will spring wheat (1967, A Grain of Wheat) is a very complicated story of betrayal and
suffering in the upheavals of independence. The central themes of Ngugi
are political power and the movement of history, while the earth remains his
principal symbol. Petals of Blood (1977, Petals of Blood) and Caitaani Mutharabaini
(1980, written in Kikuyu and translated as the Devil on the Cross), are
harsh criticism of the independent Kenya.
The romance of the Sudanese writer al-Tayyib Salih, al-hijra mawsim ilâ al-Shimali
(1966, Season of Migration to the North) as it builds the story to the
first person in the style of Conrad, which he proposed an inversion
mimetic interesting. The novel begins in the heart of Europe back to the village
native of the narrator.
South Africa is rich with fiction in African languages, with particular
works of A. C. Jordan and Jordan K. Ngubane. The novel A. C. Jordan,
Inggoubo yeminyaya (1940, "the anger of ancestral spirits"), became a
classic of modern fiction Xhosa. That of Ngubane, Uvalo Lwezinhlonzi (1957,
"A look, it caused terror"), written in Zulu, was followed Ushamba: The
Hurtle to Blood River, written in English (1974, revised edition 1979), book
banned in South Africa.
The first novel by a black writer in South Africa to experience success
International Mine was Boy (1946), by Peter Abrahams. Among his works written for
most while living in Ghana, Great Britain or Jamaica, it
Red also has the blood of blacks (1946), A Wreath for Udomo (1956),
Wild Conquest (1950), Path of Thunder (1948, The Path of Thunder), and
two autobiographical novels I'm not a free man (1954, Tell Freedom)
and Return to Goli (1953).
The short novels of Alex La Guma offer a painting of intense realities
Particular life in South Africa under apartheid, but go well
beyond the boundaries of naturalism into a plunging deep and disturbing look at
heart of humanity. A Walk in the Night (1962) and And a Threefold Cord (1964)
describe life in the ghetto of Cape Town. The Stone Country (1967) is inspired
very realistic experience of La Guma in prison. In The Fog Of The
Season's End (1972) has about the struggle activist in South Africa and Time of the
Butcherbird (1979) deals with the geographical segregation and displacement of
black people to "homelands". Bessie Head, also of South Africa
birth, spent most of her life in Botswana, the themes of exile and
distance are central to his novels When Rainclouds Gather (1969), Maru
(1971) and A Question of Power (1974). Zimbabwean Dambudzo Marechera, death
AIDS in 1987, draws severe criticism of the misery in the House of Hunger
(1999, The House of Hunger).
Es'kia Mphahlele is best known for English-speaking black writers
South Africa. His novel, Down Second Avenue (1959) is a masterpiece
autobiographical, and was followed by a second book of the same kind, My Afrika
Music: An Autobiography, 1957-83 (1984). Mphahlele has also written tests
literary criticism: Voices in the Whirlwind (1972) and The African Image (1962,
revised edition 1974), and addressed the theme of exile in two novels: The
Wanderers (1971) largely based on his own exile, Chirundu (1980), located in
Zambia, which evokes the fate of two black South African exiles, one
conclude that knowledge to new detention and torture is still preferable to
the exile from his country.
The news is a literary form that provided a rich harvest in South Africa.
Those of Mphahlele were collected in the books Man Must Live and Other
Stories (1947), and The Living and The Dead (1961). Nat Nakasa, Can Themba, Arthur
Maimane, Bloke Modisane, Richard Rive and Alex La Guma, have among other things, they
also produced small masterpieces of this genre.
Portuguese-speaking, Bernardo Honwana of Mozambique has made known his
also for his short stories. In Angola, José Vieira Luandino, was noted with
Luuanda (1964), three feature stories that render the language and lives of people
urban poor, while Manuel Rui in the epic Pig (1999, Quem me dera
ser onda) fiercely critical of bureaucracy during the socialist era, in a satire
which are not excluded tenderness and philosophical reflection.
Modern poetry
The French-speaking African poetry is born outside the continent, among
Authors who have attempted to rediscover their African identity, to reassert a lost sense
dignity, and to proclaim the legacy of history and culture of Africa to
eyes of the world dominated by Europe which denied its existence. In his famous Cahier
a return to the homeland (1939), the Caribbean poet Aime Cesaire who gave the
name of negritude, this assertion of African identity. For Leopold Sedar
Senghor (Senegal), the concept becomes a theme that is both aesthetic and mystical in
his essay Black African Aesthetics (1956), it attempts to define blackness, he
illustrated in his new anthology of black poetry and Malagasy language
French (1948). This anthology and its own collections of poems Songs
Shadow (1945), Ethiopia (1956), and Nocturnes (1961) made him the champion of
this blackness found in the poems of three other West Africans:
Birago Diop, David Diop and Bernard Dadi. The poem Breaths (1947), Birago
Diop, is often cited as an example of this literary movement. U Tchicaya Tam'si
(Congo), mixes the influences of surrealism, Cesaire, French Symbolism,
Roman Catholic imagery, landscape Congolese and anguish of exile in
Five powerful poetry - Bush Fire (1957), On cheating heart (1958),
Epitome: the words of his head to the summary of a passion (1962), Belly (1964), and
Arc Music (1969).
African poetry of English expression addresses similar themes. There are
often more a sense of humor, sometimes bitter and sardonic, sometimes
warm and genuinely funny.
Christopher Okigbo (Nigeria) seems to escape the alienation and frustration of
previous generations. His most famous works, Heavensgate (in four parts,
1962) and Limits (1964), has themes for the torment, anguish, and purification.
Two collections, Idanre (1967), Idanre and Other Poems (1967) and A Shuttle In The
Crypt (1942), Wole Soyinka has made one of the largest Nigerian poet. The
House by the Sea (1978), Kofi Awoonor outstanding work includes a series of
powerful poems written during the year he was jailed by a government
The South African poetry of English expression is full of passion for challenge
and poignancy of exile. Dennis Brutus has published several books - Sirens
Knuckles and Boots (1963), Letters to Martha and Other Poems from a South
African Prison (1968), Thoughts from Abroad (1970), A Simple Lust (1973), Strains
(1975, revised edition 1982), Stubborn Hope (1978) - that evoke
imprisonment, revolution, liberation, and the experience of exile. Arthur Nortje,
described by Brutus as "perhaps the best South African poet of our time,"
been forced into exile and committed suicide in 1970, his poems are grouped under the
As Dead Roots (1973). Like Brutus, other important poets have left
South Africa to write from their place of exile among the works of Mongane
Serote, there is a large collection of poetry, Tsetlo (1975), and a novel, To
Every Birth icts Blood (1981), among those Keorapetse Kgositsile, we see the
poems collected in Spirits Unchained (1969), For Melba (1970), My Name is
Afrika (1971), The Present Is a Dangerous Place to Live (1974), and Herzspuren
(Published in Germany in 1980); Mazis Kunene, poet and scholar of literature
Zulu, speaking in Zulu and English, tried in two epic poems
large - Emperor Shaka the Great (1979) and Anthem of the Decades
(1981) - to restore the spirit, substance, and techniques of oral tradition
The number of poets speaking African significantly increased during the
Twentieth century. Among the most famous in the years before the War
World include Eugenio Tavares and Jorge Barbosa, both from Cape
Green, poet and folklorist blind Oscar Ribas, Angola, Rui de Noronha, the
Mozambique, and Francisco José Tenreiro, São Tomé. The transition to the period
Modern takes place through the work of Mario da Andrade (Angola), not only
through his own poetry, but by that of his rich and original anthology,
Literatura africana Expressão portuguesa (1967-1968). Among the poets
contemporaries, there are Agostinho Neto (the first president of Angola)
Malangantana Valente and José Craveirinha, Mozambique and Angola's
Antonio Cardoso.
Although the drama is a genre flourishing in Africa today,
theater as literary texts edited remains rare. From the perspective of culture
Africa, the two elements are not contradictory. The theater is one of the arts
Performing the most complex and multidisciplinary, and its development dates back
very far in the traditions of black Africa. The ntsomi was a form of expression
Xhosa, as were the masquerades of Nigeria. The piece Zulu
Umxakazawakogingqwayo has been transcribed from oral representation of the late
Nineteenth century. The folk tale, the song of praise and certain rituals and
Ceremonies were also a form of theater. They combined singing, music,
mime, speech punctuated, dance and other forms of symbolic action, and
accompanied by costumes, props and masks, while using all
elements - plot, presonages and action - which combine to show for
do theater. They have lasted until today, incorporating elements
contemporaries and often also outside influences, their methods and
representation skills. These traditions also gave birth to
new modern forms, such as the "concert party" in Ghana, and "folk
opera "Yoruba in Nigeria, which do not lend themselves easily to the publication of texts
African performing arts have also developed in the form of coins
Bible freely inspired Scriptures, often humorous bawdy, and
where African music and songs are important. In
1940 and 1950, Hubert Ogunde has secularized this type of theater, transforming
first in popular entertainment and social criticism in judicious
humorous and effective. Ogunde, imitated by Kola Ogunmola (Nigeria), who works
in the same vein, are the creators of Yoruba folk opera. Masterpiece
Ogunmola was a version of the staging of the Drunk in the bush, Amos
Tutuola. Oba koso (1964, "The king did not hang '), Duro Ladipo, is one of the few
folk operas to have been published in its original language, and his Three Pieces Yoruba
(1964), including Oba Oba koso and WAJA ("The king is dead"), were published in
English version. These works, inspired by the history, myths and legends
Yoruba, however, are much more delicious form of entertainment. The
Dialogues are minimized; language, very graphic, is full of proverbs and
allusions: the themes are often tragic and austere, and much of
impact on the public comes to music, drumming, and dancing
J. P. Clark (Nigeria) wrote several important documents in English: Song of Goat
(1960), a moving drama set in a fishing village Ijaw (Delta
Niger), The Masquerade (1964), The Raft (1964), and Ozidi, and a modernized version
stage a ceremony Ijaw. But the most significant dramatist of the world
Africa remains indisputably Wole Soyinka (Nigeria). Turning point of view
artistic consciousness of African identity, anchored in the universe
cosmological and mythical Yoruba while addressing contemporary issues affecting
not only in Nigeria but throughout Africa, Soyinka has created works
stage of a great power, often in a tone of comic satire.
African deep in their expression, their perceptions and their impact are
His play The Dance of the Forest (1963, A Dance of the Forest), who had been
commissioned to celebrate Nigeria's independence, but was prohibited from
representation is a complex work which, on the frame of Yoruba myths,
nation has a hard look at its own history, its hopes and
the choices that his people are facing. The Lion and the Jewel (1963, The Lion and
The Jewel) and Tribulations of Brother Jero (1963, The Trials of Brother Jero) are
satirical comedy dealing with life in the villages and towns, and varnish
Europeanism. A high blood (1963, The Strong Breed) and People Marsh (1963,
The Swamp Dwellers) provide poignant portraits of village life. The
Kongi harvest (1967, Kongi's Harvest) portrait of an African dictator and
personality cult that surrounds him. The Road (1965, The Road), Squire and death
King (1975, Death and the King's Horseman) and Fools and Specialists (1971,
Madmen and Scientists) are philosophical dramas. These are only a few
illustrations of theatrical production of Soyinka, who made him the dramatist
most prolific of the continent.
For all of his work, theater, poetry, fiction, essays and criticism but also
(Myth, Literature, and the African World (1975), Myth, and the African Literature
World), Wole Soyinka was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize for Literature. First
black African writer to receive this honor, Soyinka has accepted, not only in its
name, but as a recognition of the literary success of the whole of Africa.
Internationalization or particularities
The writer of Black Africa is faced with both an internationalization
its reference code and a reflex internalizing and "ideologization" of
his writing. His research of public and cultural partners is difficult
for reasons both physical and very direct investments (except
Nigeria, Africa's production still depends heavily on publishers and
funding non-African) and also very intellectual (the writer has the choice of
speak a European language - and he cuts himself off from the mass of his countrymen
- Or talk to a "national" - and he disappears into the cultural balkanization). A
moral anxiety and tragedy through a growing literature. Must be taken
aware of the almost schizophrenic relationship that developed between writers
Africans and their audiences. As noted by the Nigerian novelist Kole Omotoso, the
novels become the products of a kind of voyeurism, a peek of those
who are rich, the misery read in silence by those who do nothing to make
denounce. "