African Realism: The Reception and Transculturation of Western Literary Realism in Africa

Journal of Critical Realism 9 (3):276-298 (2010)
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Abstract

A study of the reception and utilization of realism in literature outside of Europe during and after the nineteenth century, the area and period of its prominence, grants us some insight into how theories, practices and cultures travel and change in the process. In particular, it allows us to see how realism has been relativized in such a way as to open up the possibilities of redefinition of the notion and practice and moving beyond them. For these reasons I am undertaking a short survey in this paper of the transculturation, after Fernando Ortiz, of realism in Africa, tracing its genesis from the primary mode of the western novel form to its utilization in anticolonial resistance literature and transmogrification into the magical realism and postmodernism of postcolonial experimental writing

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