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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Conditions of production for writing, publishing and studying literature in Africa: the Nigerian situation
Author:Diala, IsidoreISNI
Periodical:African Research and Documentation
Geographic term:Nigeria
literary education
Abstract:After what seemed an auspicious beginning, with the flourishing of Onitsha market literature in the 1950s, the publishing industry in Nigeria is today one of the most unregulated and undercapitalized industries in the country. Publishing in Nigeria today is done mostly on what Nigerians call a 'cash and carry basis', with assessment of manuscripts restricted to the narrow evaluation of the cost of production, a substantial part of which the author is usually expected to pay in advance. The state of Nigerian publishing, with the consequent scarcity or even non-availability of relevant texts, certainly also has major implications for studying literature in Nigerian universities. From the inception of the honours degree in English at the University of Ibadan in 1954, Nigerian students and teachers of literary studies have had to rise above the constraints not only of a shortage of books but also of a rigidly historical literary and linguistic syllabus. There was an early realization of the need to adapt literary studies to its African environment and teaching programmes now stress African literature, written and oral, as well as highlighting a traditional African openness to the wider world. The media have also provided a fruitful training ground and outlet for literary talent and given the decline in the infrastructure for the promotion of knowledge, their role in humanities scholarship is significant. Bibliogr. [ASC Leiden abstract]