ASRCNovember20 - 1 Elite Literature Written 2 Popular...

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ASRC November 20, 2007 African Literature I. African Liturature a. Oral and written: this is the basic division of the status of literature as fictional writings in Africa b. The importance of oral literature to contemporary African written literature lies in the governing statement in Africa that when a griot dies, a whole history vanishes. c. “Art for Arts sake” is a luxury that does not really exist in Africa sometimes- literature is a necessity d. A slight distinction exists between European folklore tradition and the African oral tradition. i. In the latter case, folklore seems to stand in distinction as a popular form to an “elite” written literature ii. African oral tradition and literature would seem to undercut the elite, and popular binary for this tradition stands at the center of literary, cultural, and historical life of African societies
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Unformatted text preview: 1. Elite Literature- Written 2. Popular Literature- folklore II. Genres of African Oral Literature a. Prose Tales: These inclined towards speech rather than chanting or singing i. Principle form is tale ii. Takes in various elements of history, myth, legends iii. Generally preformed in early evenings into slightly late nights b. Myths: Basically an explanatory model of events, phenomenon, occurrences, etc. i. Example: Dogon (present day Mali) cosmology about creation c. Poetry d. Narrative Epic e. Occupational Poetry: directly associated with specific profession f. Cult Poetry: used as aide to practice medicine, during rituals, and tool for divination g. Praise Songs: used for individuals, events, people of status, families...
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