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The African Novel and the Realist Tradition

By Aboki Associates

Summary

The assertion by some writers of African origin that
African literature is an autonomous entity – separate
and apart from all other literatures and therefore
necessarily requiring its own literary traditions, models
and norms, suggesting that its constituency is separate
and radically different from that of European or other
literatures, and this as rationale for an African poetics,
is at best misleading. This is for the simple reason that
literary critical criteria such as plot, setting, symbols,
imagery, time and space, point of view and other
aesthetic features on the one hand, and literary
theoretical concepts such as Romanticism, Realism,
Modernism, Structuralism, Semiotics, Feminism and
other theories on the other hand, cannot be used in
reference to any one geographical region of the world.
In other words, these critical and theoretical concepts
are universal. However, it is valid to refer to a European,
American or African literature where the content of
the region dominates a given literature. It is to this
robust debate that Ferdinand Asoo contributes in The
African Novel and the Realist Tradition by subjecting the
theory of Realism to the African novel.
The African Novel and the Realist Tradition
 
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Abstract

The assertion by some writers of African origin that
African literature is an autonomous entity – separate
and apart from all other literatures and therefore
necessarily requiring its own literary traditions, models
and norms, suggesting that its constituency is separate
and radically different from that of European or other
literatures, and this as rationale for an African poetics,
is at best misleading. This is for the simple reason that
literary critical criteria such as plot, setting, symbols,
imagery, time and space, point of view and other
aesthetic features on the one hand, and literary
theoretical concepts such as Romanticism, Realism,
Modernism, Structuralism, Semiotics, Feminism and
other theories on the other hand, cannot be used in
reference to any one geographical region of the world.
In other words, these critical and theoretical concepts
are universal. However, it is valid to refer to a European,
American or African literature where the content of
the region dominates a given literature. It is to this
robust debate that Ferdinand Asoo contributes in The
African Novel and the Realist Tradition by subjecting the
theory of Realism to the African novel.

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Aboki Associates

Aboki Associates

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