African Literature

Topics: Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, African Union Pages: 1 (554 words) Published: October 9, 2014
African literature is highly diversified, even though it shows some similarities. In fact, the common denominator of the cultures of the African continent is undoubtedly the oral tradition. Writing on black Africa started in the middle Ages with the introduction of the Arabic language and later, in the nineteenth century with introduction of the Latin alphabet. Since 1934, with the birth of the "Negritude," African authors began to write in French or in English. Since the 1960’s quantitative and qualitative changes could be observed in the field of publication in both Francophone and Anglophone states. The main objective of the present work is to give an overview of the origin and the role of griots in the African society, the different components of the oral tradition, and the major trends in the development of African literature. The study of the Negritude movement encompasses the historical context, the definition of the concept and its principal authors, ideological contradictions, the left wing of the Negritude, and the "Theory of the African Personality" in Anglophone countries. The monograph provides as well current trends in the African literature after 1960 and the response of a panel of African authors. African literature, the body of traditional oral and written literatures in Afro-Asiatic and African languages together with works written by Africans in European languages. Traditional written literature, which is limited to a smaller geographic area than is oral literature, is most characteristic of those sub-Saharan cultures that have participated in the cultures of the Mediterranean. In particular, there are written literatures in both Hausa and Arabic, created by the scholars of what is now northern Nigeria, and the Somali people have produced a traditional written literature. There are also works written in Geʿez (Ethiopic) and Amharic, two of the languages of Ethiopia, which is the one part of Africa where Christianity has been practiced long...
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