• £2.99

Publisher Description

The fact that most of contemporary African writing is immersed in the historical and the social constantly poses a challenge to reading and theorizing it. The boundary between text and context is often so thin or blurred that it becomes difficult to distance texts from their enabling situations. This convergence implies that any attempt at transferring values that are already taken for granted in Western traditions of critical practice will distort or misrepresent literary practices in this case. The situation is becoming increasingly complicated as various national literatures are acquiring distinctive idioms based on the unique ways that social and creative traditions negotiate their terms of engagement. The challenge that this poses to theorizing African literature is to appreciate the traditions that sustain specific literary efforts and appraise them accordingly. Ghanaian literary culture, an aspect of which is the object of this exploration, is very unique in the sense that it exhibits a considerable sense of historical awareness. This historicity testifies to its implication in the discourses that sustained the nationalist project in much of what used to be British-controlled West Africa in general and the former Gold Coast in particular. (1) Ghanaian writing exhibits a great deal of Pan-Africanist consciousness, a reality that has much to do with the nation's history and the conscious way that a Pan-Africanist outlook has been sustained within the Ghanaian intellectual tradition and public life. Ghanaian writing has probably borne more of the African historical burden than any other national literary tradition in Africa and this is its unique input into the constitution of African writing: Ghanaian writers generally privilege realities that are central to defining the experiences of black people from the pre-colonial era to the present. It is no surprise, for instance, that three out of the four writers that Cristel Tempels studies in Literary Pan-Africanism are Ghanaian. Two major factors explain this orientation in Ghanaian writing. The first is that Ghana has many of the reminders of the traumatic experience of slavery, the single most important assault on the continent, which constantly inspire creative reflection on the experience. These are mainly forts and trade posts that European slave traders used:

Professional & Technical
January 1
University of Calgary, Department of English

More Books by Ariel