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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Translating Orality to Literacy: Writing Both an Audible Text and an Oral Narrative Situation
Author:Lorentzon, Leif
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:folk tales
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Education and Oral Traditions
Literature, Mass Media and the Press
Abstract:This article contextualizes African oral narrative among European traditions and compares various techniques for interpreting oral narrative. The narrating or the performance of a story is a creative act. A new narrative, a new discourse, is created at every performance of the same story. This is why it is important that scholars collect different narratives of the same story. The most conspicuous example of this in Africa is the many different written versions of the Mandinka epic Sunjata. At the same time, in order to make the written reproduction as faithful to the oral original as possible, all aspects of the performance should be considered. Possible strategies are indicated by the poet J.P. Clark-Bekederemo, whose translation of the Ozidi saga (Nigeria) encompasses the total narrative situation or social context within which the narrative is created, and the anthropologist Dennis Tedlock, whose view of oral narrative as dramatic poetry offers a method of graphic transcription which emphasizes the whole repertoire of voices, mime, songs, body language and everything else a narrator may use in a given narration. Note, ref.