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By Handel Kashope Wright

ISBN-10: 0820434957

ISBN-13: 9780820434957

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Additional resources for A Prescience of African Cultural Studies: The Future of Literature in Africa Is Not What It Was (Counterpoints (New York, N.Y.), Vol. 40.)

Sample text

My classmates are whispering the usual noises of appreciation of his performance. ” Somehow, my heart is not in it. I am thinking about the scene the teacher is painting for us. Just how cold is that? I wonder to myself, risking a reprimand by turning my attention away from the teacher (who is continuing his rendition of Keats from his desk) to stare outside for inspiration. I am mildly surprised to see eight shirtless, sweating fourth formers still playing an intense game of soccer, risking suspension from school to achieve a decisive conclusion to their game.

When this narrow set of criteria is applied to African literature, many works that are not overtly Marxist or materialist are declared unimportant and, perhaps more dangerous, un-African. Illustrative of this is the fact that Wole Soyinka remains the favorite whipping boy of this school of criticism (as evidenced in collections of Marxist essays such as Gugelberger, 1985b). A materialist critique is crucial, but to reduce literary criticism to a consideration of little else is to miss out on much of the essence of both literature and literary criticism.

It is five after one on a Tuesday afternoon—time for poetry. The scene is a small, beige-colored classroom (Form 5A) into which, by some miracle, 40 desks, 40 chairs, and 40 sixteen-year-old students have been crammed. All eight of the large windows are open but with the temperature hovering around 35 degrees centigrade, with no hint of a breeze, and with high humidity (“it’s the humidity that kills you”), we are hot, sticky, restless, and irritable. Almost all of us are still sweaty from our 12:30 to one o’clock “lunch time” exertions on the hand tennis courts (hand tennis is my sport) and the soccer field (soccer is so boorish, really).

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A Prescience of African Cultural Studies: The Future of Literature in Africa Is Not What It Was (Counterpoints (New York, N.Y.), Vol. 40.) by Handel Kashope Wright

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