Prof. Dr. Mikhail D. Gromov

Nagona and Mzingile - novel, tale or parable?

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Kurzfassung in Englisch

Since the very moment of their appearance two recent works of Euphrase Kezilahabi- Nagana (1990) and Mzingile (1991)- hold a very special place in the whole development ofKiswahili literature, giving a lot of puzzles for the reader and a lot of material for the scholars of literature. I\' m going to dwell upon only one aspect of the book - its generic origin; for I think that this question will sooner or later arise. To this effect, I would dare first narrate - very briefly - the contents of the book I would refer to it as `the book´, although it actually consists of two parts - but these parts are so closely related to each other, that it seems possible to speak of Nagana and Mzingile as one piece of work. To what literary genre shall we ascribe the latest work of Tanzania` s leading writer? I would dare to come forward with such a question, because within the structure of the book there seem to be at least four more or less easily tangible stylistic plans. The first one I would call a folkloristic plan, for Kezilahabi uses widely and vividly the elements of African folklore - from mythological concepts to folklore plots, inserted into the narration. The second stylistic plan of the book can be called that of a parable - a parable in the sense of a self-contained story conveying didactic message to a reader or a listener. The book is full of such stories. The next stylistic plan one can call that of science-fiction - or, I would rather say, of antiutopia, for the author draws apocalyptic pictures of the world after the nuclear war, implyin the technique inherent to science-fiction novels. Finally, another stylistic plan of the book can be called realistic - for the author gives, for example, the descriptions of modern city, where the Msichana-Mwokozi dwells, or of an African village, when he tells about the childhood of the main character, using the traditions of east African realistic novel, portraying shortly but vividly urban and rural life. I would say that this realistic plan takes smaller place than the other three - but it is by no means less noticeable.

weitere Metadaten

Erschienen in Swahili-Forum - 5.1998
Swahili, Afrikanische Literatur, Euphrase Kezilahabi, Nagona, Mzingile, Genre
Swahili, African literaure, Euphrase Kezilahabi, Nagona, Mzingile, genre
SWD SchlagworteSwahili, Außereuropäische Literatur, Kezilahabi, Euphrase, Literaturgattung
DDC Klassifikation496
Beteiligte Institution(en) 
HochschuleUnited States International University
FakultätInstitute for Kiswahili and Foreign Languages
HochschuleUniversität zu Köln
FakultätInstitut für Afrikanistik
Veröffentlichungsdatum (online)09.08.2012
persistente URNurn:nbn:de:bsz:15-qucosa-93517
QuelleSwahili Forum 5 (1998), S. 73-78

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