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Kiswahili Literature in Crisis

Title data

Tchokothe, Rémi Armand:
Kiswahili Literature in Crisis.
In: South African Journal of African Languages. Vol. 40 (2020) Issue 1 . - pp. 1-10.
ISSN 0257-2117

Official URL: Volltext

Abstract in another language

The substantial number of Kiswahili prose works published since the 1990s and the growing interest in their analysis play down some drawbacks that make Kiswahili literature vulnerable. Contrary to the usual celebrations of these texts, this article presents the other side of the coin, which suggests a potential crisis in Kiswahili literature. The article begins with Obi Wali’s plea for African literatures to be written in African languages, before narrowing it down to Kiswahili literature. The article shows that although writers in Kiswahili have between the 1970s and the 1990s qualitatively as well as quantitatively responded to Wali’s call, one needs to critically assess works published since the end of the 1990s and especially since the early 2000s. One needs to reconsider the question posed by Matundura: ‘what ails Kiswahili literature?’ This article explores the following challenges facing Kiswahili literature: authorial (im)posture and the ‘death of the critic’; ‘felicitous borrowings’; the demise of editing and the school book race and writers in Kiswahili; and Western midwives and disconnected readers.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Swahili literature; authorial (im)posture; the ‘death of the critic; ‘felicitous borrowings; the demise of editing and the school book race; writers in Swahili; 'western' midwives and disconnected readers
Subject classification: Afrikastudien
Institutions of the University: Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Languages and Literature
Faculties > Faculty of Languages and Literature > Former Professors
Faculties > Faculty of Languages and Literature > Former Professors > Chair African Studies II - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Dymitr Ibriszimow
Faculties > Faculty of Languages and Literature > Chair African Studies II
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 800 Literature > 890 Other literatures
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2019 09:40
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2024 07:07