Francophone Literatures: An Introductory Survey

By Belinda Jack | Go to book overview

13
SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

'COLONIAL', 'African', 'Negro', 'Neo-African', 'Negro-African', 'Black', 'Negritude', 'Senegalese', 'Cameroonian' (and other national appellations), 'Third World', 'Post-colonial', 'Sub-Saharan': the continuing proliferation of appellative terms (further complicated by the number of languages in which these may be written: English, French, Portuguese, and numerous African languages most obviously), testifies to the complexities of any literary history of the area and generates complex problems for criticism. The range of combinations of these terms is also consonant with the protean and hybrid nature of the field. A large number of origins and traditions for these literatures, some regressing ever further into history, can equally beproposed.

It is now widely known that the assumption that African literature (as opposed to African literature in the European languages) began as a consequence of European influence is erroneous. Numerous typologies for a wide range of oral genres have been defined: panegyric and historical poems constituting the two major historical genres; proverbs and riddles making up two of the most important philosophical ones. Oral traditions undoubtedly represent the most significant source for much African literature in the European languages (most importantly francophone, anglophone, and lusophone). And whilst the oral traditions now compete with, and are threatened by, writing (to which they also continue to contribute), ever cheaper modern technologies, tape-recordings, radio, film, and video, for example, have also offered exciting possibilities for the traditional performed arts and modern variants.1

____________________
1
For an introduction to African oral literature see Ruth Finnegan, Oral Literature in Africa ( Oxford, 1970).

-219-

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Francophone Literatures: An Introductory Survey
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Acknowledgements *
  • Contents *
  • PART I - Europe and North America 23
  • 1 - Belgium 25
  • 2 - Switzerland 41
  • 3 - Quebec and French Canada 57
  • Guide to Further Reading 96
  • PART II - Creole Island 101
  • 4 - Antilles and Frenxh Guiana 103
  • 5 - Haiti 130
  • 6 - Mauritius 144
  • 7 - La Réunion 152
  • Guide to Further Reading 156
  • PART III - North Africa and the Near East 161
  • 8 - Algeria 165
  • 9 - Morocco 185
  • 10 - Tunisia 196
  • 11 - Egypt 207
  • 12 - Lebanon 209
  • Guide to Further Reading 212
  • PART IV - Sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar 217
  • 13 - Sub-Saharan Africa 219
  • 14 - Madagascar 267
  • Guide to Further Reading 274
  • Conclusion 277
  • Select Bibliography 282
  • Index 283
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