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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Criticism, écriture, and orality in the African novel: oral discourse in Aminata Sow Fall's work
Author:Guèye, MédouneISNI
Periodical:Research in African Literatures (ISSN 0034-5210)
Geographic term:Senegal
Subjects:women writers
oral traditions
About person:Aminata Sow Fall (1941-)ISNI
Abstract:This essay seeks an answer to the question: 'Wat does it entail, this postcolonial orality that is said to be informing postcolonial African fiction?' It does so by scrutinizing the narrative and discursive strategies inscribed within Aminata Sow Fall's works, grounded as they are in oral traditions. The aesthetics underlying such an active engagement with African traditions are primarily discussed in relation to the novels 'Le revenant' and 'L'appel des arènes'. The literary field in Africa came into emergence as a result of a collective yearning for lesser dependency on the symbolic constraints the Western centre is forcing on its margins. This essay argues that, through her 'smuggling' of narrative forms drawn from oral literature, Aminata Sow Fall's fiction testifies to an oral discursivity at work in the novel. On a formal plane, Sow Fall adaptively embeds genres, motifs, and narrative techniques in her novels culled from traditional literature. On a functional plane, she revives Wolof thought by crafting an ethnotext that suffuses the French text with multiple references to orality, in the form of proverbs, sayings, and syntactical features. A case in point is how Sow Fall, in most of her novels, pits the hero against an antihero, drawing largely on the structure of the African folktale. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract, edited]