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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Ideological and material problems in the production of Swahili literary works
Author:Kezilahabi, E.ISNI
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:East Africa
Subjects:Swahili language
Swahili literature
Abstract:Most of the ideological problems facing Kiswahili authors are caused by the fact that writing in an African language places internal and external constraints on the writer, such as the ontological constraint of serious criticism, and the constraint due to the epistemological break which takes place when free and unconstrained dialogue between the consciousness and the self is externalized. Writing in Swahili has led to a transparent literature, situating the African writer under constant terror of obliteration. On the other hand, the constraint of ideology sometimes pushes writers to the realm of opacity. In Kiswahili literature opacity finds its abode in poetry and, to some extent, in drama. The Swahili novel has remained translucent. Kiswahili as a language does not belong to the ruling class. In Swahili literary production the 'ordinary people' are given the chance to be the true creators of their own literature and culture. The material problems involved in the production of Swahili literature concern marketing uncertainties, high production costs and restrictive foreign exchange regulations.