TITLE

Relativism, Universalism, and the Language of African Literature

AUTHOR(S)
Mazfui, Alamin
PUB. DATE
March 1992
SOURCE
Research in African Literatures;
SOURCE TYPE
DOC. TYPE
Literary Criticism
ABSTRACT
The article focuses on the opposition between linguistic relativism and linguistic universalism, regarding the utilization of language in African literature. Relativists regard the use of African languages as indispensable in the quest for an authentic African literature. For them, language is the reservoir of people's culture, or the medium that structures perceptions in culturally bound ways. Pitted against the relativist position, is linguistic universalism, that regards language as a malleable tool in the service of the transcultural creative mind. Proponents of this view reject the idea that literature is African, only if it has been composed in an African language.
ACCESSION #
15515766

Tags: AFRICAN literature;  RELATIVITY;  UNIVERSALISM (Theology);  LANGUAGE & culture;  CULTURAL universals

 

Related Articles

  • Writing as translation: African literature and the challenges of translation. Gyasi, Kwaku A. // Research in African Literatures;Summer99, Vol. 30 Issue 2, p75 

    Studies the implications of the use of European or colonizers' languages on African written works. Attempts to resolve the difficulty of rendering African ideas, thoughts and feelings in a foreign language; Examination of the role of translation as a critical and creative activity in African...

  • HOW TO POPULARISE UNIVERSALISM IN AFRICA--THE NIGERIAN MODEL. Ikwueze, Chukwudi // Dialogue & Universalism;2000, Vol. 10 Issue 1/2, p175 

    Presents the address given by the director-general of the International Society for Universalism Nigeria Chapter at the Centre for Dialogue and Universalism in Warsaw University on how to best popularize universalism in Africa. Definition of universalism as a call for dialogue worldwide;...

  • Language and Gender: A Feminist Critique of the Use of Proverbs in Selected African Dramatic Texts. Salami, Irene // Ufahamu: A Journal of African Studies;Fall2004/Winter2005, Vol. 31 Issue 1/2, p22 

    The article presents a feminist perspective on literatures about language and gender in communities in Africa. Writers Helen Gilbert and Joanne Tompkins observes that many African playwrights resort to indigenous discursive patterns and tons of phrases to communicate in English. Africa is...

  • Do canto da voz ao batuque da letra: a presença africana em narrativas orais inscritas no Brasil. De SOUZA, Josiley Francisco // HORIZONTE: Revista de Estudos de Teologia e Ciências da ReligiÃ;jan-mar2012, Vol. 10 Issue 25, p302 

    The oral art of strorytelling has always been part of human life and, for a long time, was an assential activity of societies to ensure maintenance of memories and knowledge transmitted through the tissue of narrative. One place where this art is strongly present is Africa. The poetic...

  • SECULAR UNIVERSALIST DIALOGUE: A MULTIFAITH CRITIQUE. Sargent, Wendy // Dialogue & Universalism;2003, Vol. 13 Issue 5, p61 

    This paper critiques present secular international relations theory from the perspective of spiritual universalism. It debates the work of prominent writers in the field of international relations and argues that multi-religious partnerships need to be made to facilitate the process of universal...

  • Between universalism and relativism: a conceptual exploration of problems in formulating and applying international biomedical ethical guidelines. Tangwa, G. B. // Journal of Medical Ethics;Feb2004, Vol. 30 Issue 1, p63 

    In this paper, the author attempts to explore some of the problems connected with the formulation and application of international biomedical ethical guidelines, with particular reference to Africa. Recent attempts at revising and updating some international medical ethical guidelines have been...

  • Reclaiming the Universal: Intercultural Subjectivity in the Life and Work of Endo Shusaku. INOUE, MASAMICHI // Southeast Review of Asian Studies;2012, Vol. 34, p153 

    In an attempt to question the ascendency of today's relativism, this essay asks two different but interrelated questions: (1) Does the celebration of cultural differences guarantee the disappearance of ethnocentric universalism? (2) Is it possible to envision a universalism that is not...

  • CHINESE SEE INVESTMENT POTENTIAL IN ZAMBIA.  // New York Amsterdam News;6/30/2005, Vol. 96 Issue 27, p2 

    The article presents information according to which the chair of the Federation of African and Middle East Merchants (FAMEM), Ronald Lam, said that China was ready to help the southern African nation improve its tourism industry by investing in the sector. Lam also said that a memorandum of...

  • Religion und das Problem der Universalit�t der Universalien. Welche sind die heuristischen Grundlagen der Kulturkomparatistik? Mohn, J�rgen // Erw�gen Wissen Ethik;2009, Vol. 20 Issue 3, p383 

    The article responds to this issue's preceding thematic article by Christoph Antweiler on cultural universals. The author approves of Antweiler's model and muses on its application to comparative religion as it developed in the 19th century as "religious universalism." A comparative analysis of...

Share

Read the Article

Courtesy of VIRGINIA BEACH PUBLIC LIBRARY AND SYSTEM

Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics