Style in African Literature

Essays on Literary Stylistics and Narrative Styles


Postcolonial and contemporary African literatures have always been marked by an acute sensitivity to the politics of language, an attentiveness inscribed in the linguistic fabric of their own modes of expression. It is curious however, that despite the prevalence of a much-touted ‘linguistic turn’ in twentieth century theory and cultural production, language has frequently been neglected by literary studies in general. Even more curiously, postcolonial literary studies, an erstwhile emergent and now established discipline which has from the outset contained important elements of linguistic critique, has eschewed any sustained engagement with this topic. This absence is salient in the study of African literatures, despite, for instance, the prominence of orature in the African literary tradition right up to the present day, and sporadic meditations on the part of such luminaries as Achebe and Ngũgĩ. Beyond this, however, there has been little scholarly work attuned to the multifarious aspects of language and linguistic politics in the study of African literature. The present volume aims to rectify such lacunae by making a substantial interdisciplinary and transcultural contribution to the gradual reinstatement of the ‘linguistic turn’ in African literary studies. The volume focuses variously on postcolonial and transcultural African literatures, areas of literary production where the confluence of several languages, whether indigenous and (post)colonial in the first case, and local and global in the second case, appears to be a central and decisive factor in the formation and transformation of the continent and its peoples’ cultural identities.

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Table of contents
Chin Ce: Foreword
Russell West-Pavlov & J. K. S. Makokha: Introduction: Linguistic (Re)turn and Craft in Contemporary African Literature
General Perspectives
Daria Tunca: Towards a Stylistic Model for Analysing Anglophone African Literatures: Preliminary Epistemological Considerations and a Case Study
Adesola Olateju: Current Issues and Trends in African Verbal Stylistics: The Yoruba Example
Perspectives on Fiction
K. M. Mathews: Nnu Ego on the Verge of Feminist Consciousness: Feminist Stylistics and Buchi Emecheta’s The Joys of Motherhood
Martina Kopf: Narratives of a Wounded Time: Yvonne Vera’s Poetics of Trauma
Russell West-Pavlov: Speaking the Unspeakable in Iweala and Kourourma: The Trauma of Child Soldiers, Literary Stylistics and Story Telling
Adeyemi Adegoju: Autobiographical Memory and Identity Construction in Tayo Olafioye’s Grandma’s Sun
Shawkat M. Toorawa: Carl de Souza’s La maison qui marchait vers le large and the Multicultural Mauritian City
Adeyemi Daramola: A Stylistic Study of Metaphors in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart
Perspectives on Orature and Poetry
Iwu Ikwubuzo: Stylistic Features of Igbo Riddles
Mikhail Gromov: On Stylistic Trends in Modern Swahili Poetry
Michael Wainaina: New Wine in Old Wineskins: Stylistic Provisions of Orature’s Call and Response for Contemporary Discourses in Gikuyu Popular Music
James Odhiambo Ogone and Ogone John Obiero: Activistic Understones in the Music of Women: A Psychoanalytic and Stylistic Reading of Agnes Mbuta’s Dhiang’ Othuwowa gi Chuo
Anette Hoffmann: Chronotopes of the (Post-) Colonial Condition in Otjiherero Praise Poetry
Bright Molande: Metapoesis and ‘the Art of Chameleons’ in Steve Chimombo’s Poetry
Perspectives on Drama and Theatre
Naomi Nkealah: Female Sexuality under the Male Gaze: Reading Style and Ideology in Bole Butake’s The Rape of Michelle
Chris Wasike: Figurations of ‘troubled motherland’ and Feminization of the Ugandan Nation in John Ruganda’s Plays
Victor Yankah: Language and Meaning in Efo Mawugbe’s In the Chest of a Woman
Ibrahim Esan Olaosun: Incantation as Discourse: A Discourse-Stylistic Study of the Confrontational Scene in Ola Rotimi’s The Gods are Not to Blame
Index Card
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