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Scholars believe that some of the present set of works has been obviously influenced by African folklore like riddles, proverbs, oral narrative story-line and so on. But they have also, surprisingly, overlooked the perceptible and somewhat imperceptible oral poetic topoi or motifs, the recurrent poetic formulas that these works posit.

This article intends to investigate, therefore, some modern African texts in order to identify their correlations and establish the fact that these African works have been remotely, whether the writers were aware or not, influenced by oral poetic topoi. The topoi are by no means univalent: But what was the status of oral works before writing trapped them and before they emerged in modern African works?

European conventional literary and stylistic containments such as language, genre, stanzas, metres and other discursive structures and conventions could really avail little in seizing and sizing up this oral works during the process of translation and transplantation because of their fluid nature. As a result, instances abound where this literature glides into songs, dance, dirges, chants, epics, lyrics, religious poetry, praise-poetry, occupational poetry, the poetry of abuse, satires, narratives, and so on, even in all the various sub-strata of the sub-genres mentioned above.

Rather than take this fluidity as a disadvantage, we can say it accounts for its worthiness and richness. I have no intention to go into scheming its genres, but it is enough to state that they are poetic, rich in imagery and devoid of noviceal representation of ethical life as was once supposed. Therefore, they are not excused from the imprints of modern literary forms.

Here is the view Senanu and Vincent hold concerning oral poetry literature: Since all peoples have this heritage, no definitions could limit its nature and must have modern poetry or literature captured it. Here is how they expressed the possible damage done by any seeming misconception: Senanu and Vincent, above, in expressing a possible damage done to oral poetic materials using the prism of modern poetry, seem to chart a course that collapses Western stylistic definitions of poetry in order to capture that of oral literature.

A set of terms counting in their favours is: The notion of scribere as emptying of subjectivity is privileged here. Akwanya offers a reason why scholars are sore with the term: In all ramifications, European languages and its forms are the overlords.

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Could we not begin to see glimpses of how Africans under-develop themselves culturally? Some of them are: There is need to examine this generic nonspecificity because of its overall import to the direction of this paper, that is, in identifying what oral poetry is, its structure, and how it permeates modern written texts in Western forms and the attendant negative corollaries.


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This is poetry of the very poetic sort irrespective of the genre it appears in. It is characteristic great classics possess in bounteousness. As a result, wherever topoi, these recurrent poetic formulas of love, unity, power, death, death and revival, and offering are evident, traceable to and from, there this article would focus its attention irrespective of the genre in which topoi are found. Soyinka tells us that: Because these poems are collectively owned, they remain the product of the ethnic nationalities in which they are found as against the individual property rights ascribed to modern poems or African works of works nowadays.

How or where do you think you will find it when everybody surface-water-things tell, when things have no more root? How do you expect to find it when fear has locked up the insides of the low and the insides of the high are filled up with nothing but yam? Stop looking for it. Stop suffering yourself , At another instance, we are shown that: Only a mad man looks for it in this turned world.

Let him look for it in the wide world if he can find it. Even in our sleep we hear him asking. We do not know what it is. We do not want to know. Let us be as we are. We do not want our insides to be stirred like soup in a pot. We do not want to be troubled by one whose inside is filled with water. So, let us be It is not only in prose fiction that this happens. The genre of drama and its dramaturgy is another. The dramaturgy of African plays in European languages has been vigorously debated since the s Darah But borrowing and debts are not new in literature either, Kristeva has called intertextuality while Quayson termed it interdiscursivity But in the above case as well as those that would be established in this article, the debt appears to be in paradoxical totality, in excess of what it borrows and, also in deficiency of what it reveals as having been borrowed.

I shall take pains to explain these shortly. They were transmitted in African languages, a process that was unhindered by the colonial presence. For instance, Gates, Jr. More than that, however, he has ushered the African novel into its own post-modern era through a compelling extension of traditional oral forms that uncover the future in the past Despite its plumbing into in colonial language, folklore can never really be apprehended, for the poetic object existing in an autochthonous domain is apprehended by an alien but familiar language and habit of thought.

The last phase of the switch, of plumbing the depths of indigenous mythologies and topoi in modern Europhone forms and languages brought about fresh problematics. This time, unlike the problems that accompany translation, they occur in both the colonial languages and the topoi. At a time, the audience a writer writes for was part of it until some of us came to agree with Frye, Eliot, Jung, and others, that any literary work worth its salt should be engendered in and from the common ground of homogeneous ancestry — the core literary tradition and the total body of literature from the ancients to now.

These modern African writers were to appropriate European discursive structures as they mediated the ancient African idiom.

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One of the foremost and most effective appropriator in Black Africa in the novelistic genre is Chinua Achebe. Lloyd declares that Achebe: Hence he constantly borrows European historiography in order to explode the notorious myth that Africans have no history qtd. The topoi analysed in this article are by no means representative. But they do, from these analyses, indicate the serial and variegated ways in which they, from traditional African poems, have influenced modern African texts.

The Topoi These topoi are garnered form a majority of imagery in a particular poem. The figurative language that litters this poem of 30 lines is that of hyperboles, similes and metaphors. It is not surprising because the poem itself is a praise directed to a loved one. The range of movement is from comparisons and exaggerations to the following rapturous burst: This participation is the unity of all. As a critical term, form "can refer to a genre. A literary genre is a recognizable and established category of written work employing such common conventions as will prevent readers or audiences from mistaking it [with] another kind.

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Often film noir which has several specific themes and even recurring images, such as spiral staircases adopts a hard-boiled tone. Hard-boiled narrators are usually male characters that could be described as "tough guys. Directors watch lots of good and bad films, so many engage in this practice. Directors of mysteries or suspense films often include an homage to Alfred Hitchcock. Many characters in classical literature and Shakespeare's plays are so prideful that it destroys them; so is Satan in Milton's Paradise Lost.

A comprehensive world view pertaining to formal and informal thought, philosophy, and cultural presuppositions usually understood as associated with specific positions within political, social, and economic hierarchies. Many schools of modern literary criticism contend that the ideological context of both reader and author always affects the meanings assigned to or encoded in the work. Gabriel Garcia Marquez and many Latin-American writers use the technique well.

Unlike science fiction, most magical realism makes no attempt to explain such events. They simply happen, often with people reacting as if such things are not all that unusual. Alfred Hitchcock coined this term; he meant plot device that makes the action happen without being important in and of itself. For instance, two strangers sitting next to each other might lead to a murder or a love affair. The plane ride is the MacGuffin.

See this page on Hitchcock film techniques for more information. The end shot of the Planet of the Apes provides a perfect example.

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When Taylor falls to his knees in front of the Statue of Liberty, our actors were I'm fairly certain facing a blank background. A painted background was added--a matte painting--of the ruined statue. A figure of speech "in which one thing, idea, or action is referred to by a word or expression normally denoting another thing, idea, or action, so as to suggest some common quality shared by the two. You will therefore sometimes hear similes, where the comparison is explicit and no identity is implied, referred to as metaphorical figures.

All metaphors, in any case, are based on the implicit formula, phrased as a simile, "X is like Y. The figure is based upon logical connections other than resemblance.

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For example, you might use "sail" to refer to "ship," as in "I saw a sail on the horizon. This kind of metonymy is called synecdoche. Also very common is replacing the name of a thing with its location, e. A literary work that is understood to be reproducing an external reality or any aspect of it is described as mimetic. It can involve camera movement and focus, placement of people or objects, and other elements a director can make happen on the set rather than later on in the editing process. Modernist buildings do not try to look like older forms. Literary modernism is another matter, but in literature, Modernist works are also realistic no pretense at being an older form and can be spare think of Hemingway's fiction.

The shots are put together deliberately with transitions and by theme so that "elements should follow a particular system, and these juxtapositions should play a key role in how the work establishes its meaning, and its emotional and aesthetic effects" Manovich A recurrent image, word, phrase, represented object or action that tends to unify the literary work or that may be elaborated into a more general theme.

Also, a situation, incident, idea, image, or character type that is found in many different literary works, folktales, or myths. It can depict rich and poor, healthy and ill, young and old without the sentimental treatment one might get, say, in Uncle Tom's Cabin. Set up a giveaway. There's a problem loading this menu right now. Learn more about Amazon Prime. Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime.

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