Dr. Flavia Aiello Traoré

Taarab and Swahili prose

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Kurzfassung in Englisch

The osmotic relationship between oral and written literature has been neglected for a long time by literary criticism in post-independence Tanzania: the development of new genres and the related debates about literary values have until the end of the Eighties mostly attracted the attention of the scholars, making thus marginal the study of oral literature until the recent awakening of critical studies. Residual were especially those oral forms, like contemporary oral poetry, not wholly ´traditional` - coming from a pre-colonial past or alluding to unchanging features -, nor enough `modern` and `progressive` to be assigned much interest in scholarship.
This paper is a tentative to approach the question from a different perspective, presenting the case of one kind of oral poetry - taarab songs - , which has been dealt within creative writing, from the pre-independence era until our days - creative literature, being not bound to categorising and coherence as criticism is, sometimes succeeding better than a too `scientifically- oriented` criticism in containing the subtle relations between opponents, like orality and writing, tradition and modernity, elite and popular arts. In the following pages I will discuss three Swahili prose works, namely Wasifu wa Siti Binti Saad by Shaaban Robert (1958), Utengano by S.A Mohamed (1980) and Siku njema by K. Walibora (1996), in which taarab appears in the narration- both thematically and stylistically -, evidencing the continuities but also stressing the different ways in which symbolism and literary techniques are employed by the authors.

weitere Metadaten

Erschienen in Swahili-Forum - 8.2001
Swahili, Taarab, Prosa
Swahili, taarab, prose
SWD SchlagworteSwahili, Taarab, Prosa
DDC Klassifikation496
Beteiligte Institution(en) 
HochschuleUniversity of Calabria
FakultätFacoltà di Lettere e Filosofia
HochschuleUniversität zu Kökn
FakultätInstitut für Afrikanistik
Veröffentlichungsdatum (online)09.08.2012
persistente URNurn:nbn:de:bsz:15-qucosa-91612
QuelleSwahili Forum 8 (2001), S. 123-128

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