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How can traditions be subversive? The kinship between African traditions and novels has been under debate for the better part of a century, but the conversation has stagnated because of a slowness to question the terms on which it is based: orality vs. writing, tradition vs. modernity, epic vs. novel. These rigid binaries were, in fact, invented by colonialism and cemented by postcolonial identity politics. Given advances in social science and humanities research, the moment is right to rewrite this calcified literary history. This book is not another story of subvert ed traditions, but of subvers ive ones. West African epics like Sunjata, Samori, and Lat-Dior offer a space from which to think, and criticize, the issues of today, just as novels in European languages do. Through readings of documented performances and major West African writers, this book conducts an entirely new analysis of West African oral epic and its relevance to contemporary world literature. Subversive Traditions: Reinventing The West African Epic
African Humanities and the Arts
Michigan State University Press
Number of Pages
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
9.00 x 6.00 x 0.80 Inches
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