Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Standard view
Full view
of .
Save to My Library
Look up keyword or section
Like this
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
19713069 African Negro Aesthetics in Wole Soyinkas a Dance of the Forests and the Interpreters

19713069 African Negro Aesthetics in Wole Soyinkas a Dance of the Forests and the Interpreters

Ratings: (0)|Views: 312 |Likes:
Published by Coulbary

More info:

Published by: Coulbary on Aug 25, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as DOCX, PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less





Widely known, the history of Art has been entrenched with discriminatoryassumptions from the hegemonic Westerner critics regarding to what come to becalled the uncivilised societies such as African ones. The understanding one mayhave of aesthetics from Western writers and philosophers such as Gobineau, Kant,Hume, and Hegel seems to be valued as appropriate and applicable only toWestern culture. Aesthetics can de defined as ³a branch of philosophy dealing withthe nature of beauty, art, and taste, and with the creation and appreciation of  beauty.´But, according to African intellectuals such the Senegalese poet LeopoldSedar Senghor, these ³Eurocentric scholars have drawn their theory from theEuropean aesthetics which is rooted from the remote Greek civilisationcharacterized by a Hellenic rational philosophy named Logos´. In the aesthetic perspective, this Eurocentric view of the negating image of African art is a realityand was mostly conveyed through imperialist teachings in Europe and the other countries of the Third world during the 1880s. Besides, Black people, who werestereotyped as µprimitive beings¶, are thought unable to produce meaningfulaesthetic artefacts. This is highlighted through these words of the SenegaleseSecretary General of the Biennale AFRIC¶ART Ousseynou Wade: ³
 In the domainof visual art as in others, the quantifier African has a negative connotation.
´Inother words, Ousseynou Wade depicts Western view on Black aesthetics as beinguseless in so far as Africans are considered as uncivilised group of people. Nevertheless, in the purpose of deconstructing racist assessment about theunknown Negro art, African American intellectuals from the Diaspora launchedthe movement Black aesthetics renaissance in the earlier 1950s. The origin of thislatter trend can be traced back in America where African slaves who were deported
to work in the Southern American plantations between the 15
and the late 18
 century. After the Civil War and the Reconstruction in 1880s, Black slaves whowere stereotyped as uncultured and unrefined human beings, succeed in gainingmore or less their social freedom. Despite the African American liberation fromworks in the plantations, there is a yearn for cultural self- definition. In thiscontext, Black artists and intellectuals agreed on Black aesthetics rehabilitationthrough the ³African-American
movement created in 1925. This Negro trend spread throughout the world thanks to prominent Black Americanwriters such as Langston Hugh, Toni Morrison, Claude Mc Kay and the like.This Black aesthetics has influenced many postcolonial and postmodernistAfrican artists, particularly writers such as the Kenyan Ngugi Wa Thiong¶o, the Nigerians Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, and others. Born Akinwande OluwaleSoyinka in 1934, the artist and activist posits that writing and politics areinterwoven. Besides, Soyinka is very rooted in his Yoruba culture to which he wasvery early initiated.´His parents balanced Christian training with regular visit tothe father¶s ancestral home in µIsara, a small Yoruba community secured in itstraditions.´ As a writer, his interest in Yoruba culture is visible in his being adramatist, essayist, poet and novelist. In his plays, this is marked by the presenceof Yoruba traditional songs, dances, themes, gods, and spirits. According to EldredDurosimi Jones, the writer¶s essay ³The Fourth Stage´ develops a theory of Yoruba tragedy by examining the ideas underlying Yoruba theology.´In thedomain of sociology, Soyinka¶s traditional theory the ³Fourth stage´ can beconsidered as a ³deep image´ because ³it links the physical world to the spiritualworld´. This deep image is mainly rooted in Yoruba tradition which the Yorubaconsider as the basis of a well organisation of their community which is threatened by the influence of Western way of life.
In fact, African intellectuals, in order to counter colonial discourses andenhance Negro culture, decide to readapt the Negro creed ³Black Aesthetics´ inAfrican realities. In this respect, the Senegalese poet Léopold Sedar Senghor coinsin
iberté I,
egritude et Humanisme
³African Negro Aesthetics´ which is an echoof the Black aesthetic movement and whose main aim is to re-define and re-assessthe authenticity of African oral tradition. As for Soyinka, African Negro aestheticsrepresented in Yoruba tradition through mainly ³sacred Oriki (praise-chants)´ ismuch related to African philosophy. This latter which can be defined as Negrometaphysic vision is generally performed through ritual dramatic materials such assculpture, painting, poetic arts and masquerade. However, these latter oral toolsstarted to be transmitted in literature through dramatic and novel forms by African prominent writers.Among post colonial writers one can cite the aforementioned Yoruba writer Wole Soyinka. In fact, he painfully realizes that, while resisting colonialism newelites start where the departing white colonialists had left off: the process of cultural assimilation and political exploitation. Hence, he urges the African writersto become the conscience of their nations. In order to affirm his rootedness onYoruba culture and political commitment he writes literary works such as the ritualdramatic work 
 A Dance of the Forests
published in 1960 and the novel
The Interpreters
in 1965. In fact, Soyinka¶s literary output, generally, try to show theessential function of Orature through the exploration of Yoruba mythology and itsritual drama. In this respect, the interest of the survey is to describe the differenttraditional artworks such as visual, poetic and performed used by Soyinka in
. Besides, the survey of these artistic devices will permit to show social and political impact on either on the characters or the audience.

Activity (6)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
1 thousand reads
1 hundred reads
Hazel Charles liked this
psykosomatik liked this
Jose MLopes liked this
Veeman.P liked this

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->