In this book, Mule creates a multi-faceted interpretive model for the critical study of African women's literature, especially drama. He shows how African women dramatists put their dramatic works in dialogue with other literary traditions within the continent, taking part in a tradition of African theater that challenges reductive notions of Africa and exclusionist practices of nationalism. In examining African literature (and African women s drama more specifically) from a comparative perspective, the author is attentive to the usage of the terms African and comparative in their widest acceptance as well as the ambiguities that such usage generates. He is also cognizant of the three traditions that make up the corpus that we ordinarily refer to as African literature: oral literature, literature written in African languages, and literature in languages which are not indigenous to Africa, especially English, French, Portuguese, and Arabic. Mule also demonstrates how the dilemmas initiated by colonial modernity dominate African colonial and postcolonial thematic corpus but do not occupy a privileged perspective in the African women s literary imagination. Mule further asserts that the burden of African women s drama is to transcend this restrictive position in order to provide a better and more nuanced understanding of the complex cultural, political, and social formations that their literature engenders. In particular, he argues, critics have to become aware of the complex ways African literature, especially women s literature, constitutes dissident and subversive responses to cultural impositions in the form of traditionalism (which he define as the demands placed upon women to live by the edicts of traditional values even when such values have been emptied of their meaning), and colonial modernity. The book then may be seen as a critique of how women s writing, presented in different language, constitutes an important interpretive space for the postcolonial condition of Africans in general, and African women in particular. It also underscore the complex ways in which the formal properties of African women s creative imagination in both African and European registers constitute the genre s specifically African postcolonial, feminist matrix.
- Publisher : Africa World Press; 1st edition (July 16, 2007)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 330 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1592215610
- ISBN-13 : 978-1592215614
- Item Weight : 1.16 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.98 x 0.83 x 8.86 inches