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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Négritude and the noble savage
Author:Steeves, Edna L.
Periodical:Journal of Modern African Studies
Geographic term:Subsaharan Africa
literature (form)
Abstract:African literature stems from three cultures: the African, the Islamic-Arabic, and the 'Western'. Although these cultures overlap to some extent, there is a literature properly called Afro-Arab (from areas where African and Islamic cultures meet), and a literature that may be termed neo-African (where African and western cultures overlap). Within the second group are the writers who profess négritude. After defining the several meanings of négritude, the author demonstrates that the 'black is beautiful' conception - stressed by négritude - novel as it seemed to the founders of négritude, is really nothing very new and has, in fact, a long history in primitivistic thought. As early as the Renaissance, and particularly prominent in the 18th and early 19th century, the noble savage was a fascinating figure. Certain aspects of the cult of primitivism find their reflection today in the ideology of négritude. Négritude, as a political, social, and literary phenomenon is a phase of primitivism. Notes.