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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The path is open: the legacy of Melville and Frances Herskovits in African oral narrative analysis
Author:Yai, Olabiyi BabalolaISNI
Year:1999
Periodical:Research in African Literatures
Volume:30
Issue:2
Pages:1-16
Language:English
Geographic terms:Africa
Benin
Subjects:Fon
folk tales
About persons:Melville Jean Herskovits (1895-1963)ISNI
Frances Shapiro Herskovits (1897-1972)
External link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/research_in_african_literatures/v030/30.2yai.pdf
Abstract:In 1958 Melville and Frances Herskovits published their book 'Dahomean narrative: a cross-cultural analysis'. The distinctive feature of 'Dahomean narrative', one that sets its apart among contemporary anthropological works, is that it is the issue of two disciplines and two sensibilities. Both Herskovitses possessed to various degrees the analytical tools of the anthropologist and the sensibility of the literary critic. 'Dahomean narrative' was, and arguably still is, the work that most projects Fon culture (Benin) in the international literary marketplace. This paper deals with the literary nature of the work as well as the literary competence of the authors. It goes on to discuss the issue of literary typology and the analysis of African oral performance in general. Bibliogr., notes, ref.
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