"The concept of African Literature is vague and unattainable." Provide reasons for your support or disagreement.

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Lorraine Caplan | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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There are at least a few reasons for the notion that there is no such thing as "African literature."  First, Africa is a continent comprising many nations and cultures, which means there is no one African "voice."  We do not generally speak of European literature for this very reason.  We do sometimes speak of South American literature, but this, too, is erroneous, for the same reason.  We can speak of American literature, meaning literature from the United States, since, although many cultures are represented, the United States is one country, with a national identity.  Africa can have no national identity at all.  Second, there are those who would argue that literature from Africa cannot be distinctly African because it is hopelessly tainted by its history of colonialism.  Can there be a pure African voice when the entire continent has been raped by many other nations, figuratively and literally?  While this is true of India as well, India is one nation, which allows us to think of Indian literature as somewhat cohesive.  All of the above notwithstanding, there are certainly those who consider the classification of African literature to be a valid and useful concept, as evidenced by the link provided. 


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