TITLE

Regional or Local? - On 'Literary Trajectories' in Recent Swahili Writing

AUTHOR(S)
GROMOV, MIKHAIL D.
PUB. DATE
January 2015
SOURCE
Matatu: Journal for African Culture & Society;2015, Vol. 46 Issue 1, p67
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This essay is concerned with the contact zones in Swahili literature and explores the question of whether Swahili writing in Kenya and Tanzania has followed mainly national trajectories or whether it has begun to converge toform a regional literature giving expression to modern East Africa as a more or less integrated social and cultural space. Three phases of Swahili literary history can be identified: the 1960s and 1970s, when Swahili writing was strongly concerned with nation-building and mainly followed national imperatives in Kenya and Tanzania; the 1980s, when Swahili writing matured and began to develop new formal features, but by and large continued to reflect local specificity and to reinforce the differentiation of Swahili writing in both countries; and the 1990s to the 2000s, when Kenyan and Tanzanian writers started to produce books that were increasingly acclaimed by readers on both sides of the border and to develop new literary forms suitable for moving beyond local concerns. Today, the converging trajectories of Swahili writing in Kenya and Tanzania have created a new regional literature in East Africa - a development which may well also have been influenced by anglophone writing in the region and beyond.
ACCESSION #
112202749

 

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