Intertextuality in Contemporary African Literature

Intertextuality in Contemporary African Literature : Looking Inward

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This book is a study in African literary influence. It focuses on the importance of indigenous sources to new writing. The analytical framework for the study draws on recent conceptual advances in theories of authorship. Juxtaposing works and authors that are traditionally thought to be unlikely bedfellows, the book persuasively identifies their hitherto unexamined points of contact, opening up a vigorous debate about the roots of African literature and offering a radical critique of the assumptions underlying conventional notions of African literature. The book provides valuable insight on the roles of such activities as appropriation, copying, pastiche, parody, simulation, foraging, grafting, padding, recycling, and remodeling in underwriting literary expression in Africa. Alive with wit and full of delight in the texts it discusses, it is a marvel of close and attentive, detective more

Product details

  • Hardback | 248 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 22.86mm | 861.82g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0739164465
  • 9780739164464
  • 2,130,062

About Ode Ogede

Ode Ogede is professor in the Department of English and Mass Communication at North Carolina Central more

Review quote

Dr. Ogede's elegantly written book applauds intertextuality as a resourceful creative principle and a rewarding critical enterprise, and authoritatively applies its paradigm to his reading of contemporary African letters, thus proving his thesis that African writers deliberately re-write and revise one another's work as a strategy to frame a new brand of textual originality. His exciting study discusses writers that have made a breakthrough by writing back to established canons: Nigerian author, Flora Nwapa, answering back to Cyprian Ekwensi's Jagua Nana in her novel, One Is Enough; the Ghanaian writer, Ayi Kwei Armah, to Chinua Achebe's A Man of the People in his first novel, The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born; and the South African writer, Bessie Head, offering her novel, Maru, as a revisionist version of Achebe's No Longer at Ease (even if unconsciously), while younger Nigerian poets, such as Chimalum Nwankwo and Okinba Launko, could hardly rid their creative minds of the haunting ghost of the celebrated Nigerian poet, Christopher Okigbo. Dr. Ogede offers intertextual creativity as a way forward for the prospective writer, now that African writing seems to have burnt out its energy in the interrogation of the West and the exploration of race. An eminently enthralling piece of scholarship. -- Obi Maduakor, Tyndale University College Ogede (North Carolina Central Univ.) revisits ideas he explored in previous books on Chinua Achebe and Ayi Kwei Armah--Achebe and the Politics of Representation (2001); Ayi Kwei Armah, Radical Iconoclast (CH, Jul'01, 38-6007)--and extends them by pairing these writers and others in order to study different kinds of literary influence. Though the relatively brief chapter on the thematic and stylistic affinities between Achebe's No Longer at Ease and Bessie Head's Maru is somewhat strained, chapters on Flora Nwapa's recasting of Cyprian Ekwensi's Jagua Nana in One Is Enough and on Okinba Launko's and Chimalum Nwankwo's appropriations of Christopher Okigbo's Labyrinths offer informed close readings, as Ogede brings to bear a formidable knowledge of the social, political, and historical forces at work during the periods in which these texts were written...With the emergence of so many young African writers who are consciously acknowledging their debts to their literary forebears, this book is a timely reminder of an ongoing pan-African literary dialogue. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. CHOICE Ode Ogede challenges the persistent belief that most African writers look exclusively to European literature for stylistic and narrative models. He demonstrates that African writers are avid readers and imitators of other African writers. Following Ogede's argument and detailed examples, we are able to see African writing as a dialogue among African writers crossing regional, ethnic, gender, and linguistic divides... Looking Inward is in fact a forward-looking study through which Ogede has pointed out a significant new direction for African literary history and criticism. Project Muse Ode Ogede's Intertextuality in Contemporary African Literature: Looking Inward has recuperated the term intertextuality from its two decades of disuse in a detailed discussion of the intra-continental duologue's among major African writers. .. The book is a significant study of disjunctions and continuities among African artists... Ogede succeeds in showcasing the diversity of African literature and relocating it from what he considers regionalism... [He] reads individual works with great sensitivity and attention to detail... [H]e does a superb job in offering the main novels under study granular critical attention. His approach is trans-disciplinary and deeply comparative, sometimes drawing on medieval studies and Elizabethan theatre to offer a fresh perspective on modern African cultural expression. Another major strength of the book is that it draws on some African scholarship and debates generated in African institutions, something rare in African literary studies in the West, where critics often cite only a coterie of colleagues in privileged institutions. He uses accessible language, a refreshing change from fashionable critical jargon. Ogede further includes writers who have not been canonized even in African critical circles. In a field in which discussions are limited to a clique of African writers published in Western venues, it is refreshing to read a sustained analysis of works by Launko and Nwankwo, which have rarely been studied. Ariel: A Review Of International English Literatureshow more

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 Chapter 1. When an Elephant Rustles the Bush ... Chapter 3 Chapter 2. Is a Picture Still Worth a Thousand Words? From Documentary to Investigative Realism: Cyprian Ekwensi's Jagua Nana and Flora Nwapa's One is Enough Chapter 4 Chapter 3. Lampoon, or the Power of Savage Satire, and the Visual Object of Distaste: Chinua Achebe's A Man of the People and Ayi Kwei Armah's The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born Chapter 5 Chapter 4. On the Politics of Love: Chinua Achebe's No Longer at Ease and Bessie Head's Maru Chapter 6 Chapter 5. Masking the Infrastuctural Frame: Christopher Okigbo and his Acolytes (Labyrinths' Aural and Thematic Echoes in Okinba Launko's Minted Coins and Chimalum Nwankwo's The Heart in the Womb) Chapter 7 Conclusion. Coming out of Shadow: Eye on the Tradition, Looking for Consequenceshow more

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