African Literature: A Showcase for Africa's Leadership Problems

Author: Afolayan, Sola

Source: Matatu - Journal for African Culture and Society, Spheres Public and Private. Western Genres in African Literature. Edited by Gordon Collier , pp. 27-39(13)

Publisher: Rodopi

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African literature is as unique as the African people themselves. Hippolyte Taine, the father of historical determinism in literary criticism, has rightly postulated that the best critical approach to evaluating works of literature will first consider the history behind the author of a work. This is, perhaps, because an author's experience is germane to the metamorphosis of his creativity. It is therefore logical to assume that an author's experience shapes his writings. At a point in their artistic development, African writers concentrated much on the colonial experiences of the African people. The focus has now shifted to the mess that political actors in African politics make of their countries. Because a mere cursory reading of any literature may not yield the required interpretation, literary critics are readily available to shuck the hidden pearl from the oyster of literature. This study sees African literary practitioners as the true cinematographers who bring into the limelight the disreputable acts of Africa's leaders.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2011

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