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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:On the State of Amharic Literary Scholarship
Author:Admassu, YonasISNI
Year:2001
Periodical:Journal of Ethiopian Studies
Volume:34
Issue:1
Period:June
Pages:25-41
Language:English
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Ethiopia
Northeast Africa
Subjects:Ethiopian-Semitic languages
literature
literary criticism
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Bibliography/Research
Literature, Mass Media and the Press
Amharic language
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/41966114
Abstract:This essay first considers how not to talk or write about Amharic literature before suggesting ways of conceiving of Amharic literature and indicating possible future directions for Amharic literary research. It points out some misconceptions, faulty assumptions and sweeping generalizations in the few works by expatriate scholars who have attempted a more or less comprehensive study of Amharic literature. In particular, it notes that Amharic fictional works have almost invariably been treated as nothing more than sources of sociological data on Amharic culture and customs. In studying Amharic literature, scholars have used terms such as 'didactic' and 'realistic' prescriptively instead of descriptively, they have invoked 'Western standards', and they have failed to define what they mean by 'aesthetic'. A rethinking of Amharic literary study must involve an in-depth reading of the available works, poems, novels, stories, themselves, to arrive not at another chronological documentation of books and personalities, but at a history of the literature both as an artistic engagement and a social and intellectual discourse. Bibliogr., notes. [ASC Leiden abstract]
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