In praise of illiteracy

The Center of the Nuer area is around Lake No. Archeologists indicate that the introduction of cattle in this area is related to the development of the distinct peoples the Nuer are descended from. Oral traditions indicate that the Nuer have moved east of the Nile River only during the last years.

In praise of illiteracy

Bring fact-checked results to the top of your browser search. The influence of oral traditions on modern writers Themes in the literary traditions of contemporary Africa are worked out frequently within the strictures laid down by the imported religions Christianity and Islam and within the struggle between traditional and modern, between rural and newly urban, between genders, and between generations.

Literatures in African languages

The oral tradition is clearly evident in the popular literature of the marketplace and the major urban centres, created by literary storytellers who are manipulating the original materials much as oral storytellers do, at the same time remaining faithful to the tradition.

Some of the early writers sharpened their writing abilities by translating works into African languages; others collected oral tradition; most experienced their apprenticeships in one way or another within the contexts of living oral traditions.

There was a clear interaction between the deeply rooted oral tradition and the developing literary traditions of the 20th century. That interaction is revealed in the placing of In praise of illiteracy works into the forms of the oral tradition.

The impact of the epic on the novelfor instance, continues to influence writers today. The oral tradition in the work of some of the early writers of the 20th century— Amos Tutuola of NigeriaD. Some of these writings were merely imitations of the oral tradition and were therefore not influential.

Such antiquarians did little more than retell, recast, or transcribe materials from the oral tradition. But the work of writers such as Tutuola had a dynamic effect on the developing literary tradition; such works went beyond mere imitation.

In praise of illiteracy

The most successful of the early African writers knew what could be done with the oral tradition; they understood how its structures and images could be transposed to a literary mode, and they were able to distinguish mimicry from organic growth.

Guybon Sinxo explored the relationship between oral tradition and writing in his popular Xhosa novels, and A. Jordan in XhosaO. Matsepe in Sothoand R. Dhlomo in Zulu built on that kind of writing, establishing new relationships not only between oral and written materials but between the written and the written—that is, between the writers of popular fiction and those writers who wished to create a more serious form of literature.

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The threads that connect these three categories of artistic activity are many, they are reciprocaland they are essentially African, though there is no doubt that there was also interaction with European traditions.

Writers in Africa today owe much to African oral tradition and to those authors who have occupied the space between the two traditions, in an area of creative interaction.

Literatures in African languages Ethiopian Ethiopian literatures are composed in several languages: The more common spoken languageAmharic, became widespread when it was used for political and religious purposes to reach a larger part of the population. The Kebra nagast Glory of Kingswritten from torelates the birth of Menelik—the son of Solomon and Makada, the queen of Sheba—who became the king of Ethiopia.

The work became a crucial part of the literature and culture of Ethiopia.

African literature - The influence of oral traditions on modern writers | pfmlures.com

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1 IN PRAISE OF ILLITERACY by Hans Magnus Enzensberger Can we dispense with the written word? That is the question. Anyone who poses it will have to speak about illiteracy.

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In praise of illiteracy
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