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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The aesthetics of transcribing orality in the works of Alexis Kagame, writer of Rwanda
Author:Nzabatsinda, AnthèreISNI
Periodical:Research in African Literatures
Geographic term:Rwanda
Subjects:oral literature
About person:Alexis Kagame (1912-)ISNI
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3819921
Abstract:Numerous scholars have identified Rwanda as 'un isolement splendide', 'a splendid isolation'. This isolation is surrounded, from the point of view of language, by a discourse characterized either by its hermeticism or even by its usage of a frequently allusive language. And it is from the perspective of promoting and protecting the national sentiment that the Rwandan writer Alexis Kagame oriented his life, did his thinking, and executed his writing. This man's life and works were thus concurrently tied to a project to identify, cultivate, promote, protect, and illustrate a literature that was conceived as national. Through writing, Kagame sought to perpetuate this literature of oral tradition. Nevertheless, by consigning to the written word words that were initially transmitted orally, the writer not only created other modalities of language, forms, and aesthetics, but in the process he also contributed to the opening up of Rwandan symbolic territory. The passage of Kinyarwanda to writing in French underscores even more the degree and the pertinence of this opening up. Bibliogr., notes., ref.