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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Can there be an authentically African literature in English?
Author:Tangwa, Godfrey B.ISNI
Year:1997
Periodical:Quest: An International African Journal of Philosophy
Volume:11
Issue:1-2
Pages:69-79
Language:English
Geographic term:Subsaharan Africa
Subjects:literature
English language
Abstract:In this article the author wishes to argue that, although colonialism was a regrettable incident in history, it did pave the way for Africans to learn the languages of their colonizers, especially English. African English can take many forms and as the author himself comes from Cameroon, he gives some samples of Cameroonian English. This deviates quite markedly from the standard, but many Africans have a fine command of English, albeit with their own idiosyncracies, and can use this to write African literature in English which through the chosen vehicle of English can reach a far greater audience than if the authors had chosen to write in their own language. The author points out it is also possible to write African literature for Africans in English, using English as the means to bridge the linguistic diversity of Africa. One anomaly he exposes is that some African authors, and he takes the example of Ben Okri, write well in English but culturally produce an idiom that is incomprehensible, or even ridiculous to, other Africans. Notes, ref., sum. in French (p. 68).
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