In: Asian and African Studies, vol. 28, no. 1
Elena Bertoncini Zúbková
Year, pages: 2019, 91 - 103
Modern Swahili literature, popular and élite fiction, Tanzanian and Kenyan writers
Article type: Literature
Swahili popular writing and élite literature are two distinct currents although there cannot be a definite and discrete boundary between them. Nevertheless, the differences between "major" literature and the literature of escape, which in terms of output by far outmatches the former, are well marked. Popular fiction targets readers with a medium or low level of education. Its works have linear subjects and one-dimensional characters, a simple syntax and a limited vocabulary; moreover, they are characterized by a strong didacticism. On the other hand, “serious” writers, most of them university graduates, target well educated readers of the middle class. They aim to create a work of art with a complex plot, rounded characters, high stylistic qualities and often a refined vocabulary, as well as a serious social concern. Both currents, albeit with differing degrees of complexity, often present conflicts between individuals or groups from different backgrounds, generated by the crossing of boundaries — physical or social. In this paper various types of conflicts are discussed: those caused by different backgrounds which’ “often explode in mixed marriages, as well as those caused by a generational gap, presented as a clash of tradition versus modernity, the refusal of arranged marriage or the ingratitude of educated children. All of these conflicts are illustrated by examples from novels, short stories and plays by Tanzanian and Kenyan writers, both “serious” and popular.
How to cite:
Bertoncini Zúbková, E. 2019. THE CROSSING OF BOUNDARIES IN SWAHILI FICTION. In Asian and African Studies, vol. 28, no.1, pp. 91-103. 1335-1257.
Bertoncini Zúbková, E. (2019). THE CROSSING OF BOUNDARIES IN SWAHILI FICTION. Asian and African Studies, 28(1), 91-103. 1335-1257.
Publisher: Institute of Oriental Studies
Published: 21. 5. 2019