Tentative Spring 2014:
T: RUSS 815 - The Russian Avant-Garde (graduate course, consented)
W: TPW 550 - Professional Editing; TPW 400 - Fundamentals of Technical and Professional Writing
TH: TPW 470 - Writing Professional Promotions
?: Argue to articulate a transfer course for elective credit, or a physical activity course, or join the wrestling team.
GEORGE GROSZ - The Funeral (Dedicated to Oskar Panizza) (1917-18)
Oil on canvas. 140 x 110 cm.
January, 1941: Commuters, who have just come off the train, waiting for the bus to go home, Lowell, Mass. source
Thus, African literary criticism developed as a reaction against the colonialist, Eurocentric criticism, which virulently attacked African literature’s endless and monotonous critique of the Western world. Writing in West Africa in 1962, Martin Tucker was concerned with the topicality and disregard for aesthetics in African literature, which according to him were turning the novel about Africa into a political and sociological pamphlet: “The West African novelist cannot avoid dealing with [political and sociological] issues but topicality vitiates a novel just as surely as fastidiousness. The West African novelist, in dealing with [these] issues[,] must be careful to create a literature with the propositions of art,” he concluded. Charles Larson, whose name was given to the type of criticism known as “Larsonism,” was even more direct in his accusation. He claimed that “the African novel has tended to be situational and the African writer, so concerned with recording what happened to his society in its confrontation with the West, has failed to create believable characters.” Larson goes on to say that “most of them are poorly drawn, flat, incidental to what the author too frequently believes is his monumental message. There are few characters who are in any sense universal, confronting the problems which all of us must confront if we are to be people at all.”
African writers and critics responded by calling for an Afrocentric criticism and rejecting the label of ultranationalism. They accused Western critics, tagged “colonialist” critics, of a “dictatorial attitude” and “cultural imperialism” as well as “an unwarranted invasion into African literary sphere.” A group of Mbari writers calling itself “The Society of Nigerian Writers” quickly put Tucker to order in a rather caustic letter to the editor. They claimed that Tucker’s article “reveals the bewildered state of his mind, his strenuous effort to impose a false pattern on the west African novel, to draw conclusions arrived at in the dry air-conditioned atmosphere of the Professor’s study rather than in the living field of our virile continent.” They concluded by saying, “All limping critics from forgotten universities and research foundations have a habit of imposing their idea on Africa in other fields. This new invasion must stop, for the simple reason that is based on a complex of semi-digested and half-baked notions.”
A doe of purest white upon green grass
wearing two horns of gold appeared to me
between two streams beneath a laurel’s shade
at sunrise in that season not yet ripe.
The sight of her was so sweetly austere
that I left all my work to follow her,
just like a miser who in search of treasure
with pleasure makes his effort bitterless.
'No one touch me,' around her lovely neck
was written out in diamonds and in topaz,
‘It pleased my Caesar to create me free.’
The sun by now had climbed the sky midway,
my eyes were tired but not full from looking
when I fell into water, and she vanished.