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LITERATURE AND IDENTITY: AFRICA AND THE DIASPORIC EXPERIENCE

Keywords: literature , identity , Africa , diasporic , experience

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Abstract:

Literature across ages and continents have functioned as the embodiment and interpreter of a peoples’ culture, a conveyor of a people’s language as well as their philosophy, politics, psychology and national character. This is essentially a literary tradition influenced by the search for our roots. Literature whether cast in the mode of agitation, negotiation or based on historical reconstruction or mythological recreation has a touch of identity. That quest for distinctiveness makes literature an epistemological body for contest and negotiation and as a carrier of eccentricity. Across the world, works have been written based on peoples’ culture. Thus, using the post colonialism theory, this paper investigates the dialectical link between literature and identity in Africa and the diaspora. It argues that literature across generic boundaries is a fundamental indicator of identity. Moreover that literature is empowered by identity as identity can also be empowered by literature. The paper concludes that the symbiotic relationship between literature and identity is a fundamental linkage to national and racial heritage.

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