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Formal Aspects of Fictive Narrative in Africa


Formal Aspects of Fictive Narrative in Africa is an investigation into the nature of narrative in black Africa in the area south of the Sahara and north of South Africa, and in the period from 1953 to 1974. Close study is mainly confined to a number of representative works. The investigation concentrates on demonstrating the interdependence of technical and thematic literary phenomena. The main formal categories researched are: narrative situation, aspects of space and time, the treatment of action, characterisation, aspects of length and brevity, and work ideology. The dissertation concludes with a theoretical discussion of significant representative works. African works are found to experiment fruitfully with Western narrative conventions, with some specific adaptation of presentational processes to the presented worlds of the African setting. Formal experimentation is most obvious in: modes of expression representing African linguistic and thought patterns; aspects of temporality evoking an African conception of time; and indeterminate narrative structures analogous with states of mind in conflict situations. A considerable number of works succeed in creating artistic-aesthetic structures with significant ideologies, thus giving substance to the body of African literature.

New: 3 August 1996 | Now: 22 January, 2018