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Title: Mythology and the African novel
Author: Abdul Raheem, Sfruaibu Oba
ISNI:       0000 0001 3389 845X
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 1982
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This thesis is essentially a 'second reading' of a selection of contemporary African novels of which mythology forms a significant but, in criticism, largely neglected feature. This negligence owes a great deal to the prevailing attitude that modern African fiction is more concerned with the depiction of and commentary on contemporary socio-political realities than with making aesthetic impacts; and that the presence of mythological materials is either ornamental (providing *atmosphere*) or symptomatic of atavistic indulgence. Conversely, the present study seeks to show how certain African novelists have approached the myths and mythopoeic traditions in (as well as outside) their societies in terms of a mythic imagination, thereby sustaining the social and aesthetic concerns of the novel in a particularly African sense and milieu. The study is in five "Parts", the first of which looks at the general problem of 'myth-criticism*, and of myths in African fictions; as well as defining its own objectives. Each of the remaining four parts looks at two novels that illustrate particular perspectives on the structural and aesthetic functions of myths, as well as the creative engagement of the mythic and historical consciousness within the context of the contemporary experience in Africa. Thus, "Part two" sees Awoonor's This Earth, 'Ay Brother and Soyinka*s The Interpreters from the perspective of the 'Search for a form', while "Part three" focuses on the 'search for community' in Soyinka's Season of Anomy and Armah's Fragments. The fourth and fifth parts concentrate on relationships between myth, history and ideology in Armah's Two Thousand Seasons and Ouloguem's Bound to Violence on the one land, and Ngugi's A Grain of Wheat and Petals of Blood on the other. In conclusion therefore, we observe that these works, especially, have been largely misrepresented by the exclusivist tendencies of 'formalism' and 'socialist realism' as critical approaches to the contemporary African fictions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: PL Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania