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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:52505
Doc. No:TL22459
Call number:‭3259025‬
Main Entry:Anh P. Ly
Title & Author:From orality to writing: The presence and absence of griots in Mande novelsAnh P. Ly
College:Northwestern University
Date:2007
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2007
Page No:217
Abstract:My work in Comparative Literary Studies and French explores the link between the Mande oral tradition and its literature to reveal the presence and absence of the griots' words and their portrayal in the novel. Authors Amadou Hampaté Bâ (L'Étrange Destin de Wangrin ); Massa Makan Diabaté (L'Assemblée de Djinns ); D.T. Niane (Soundjata; Ou, L'Épopée Mandingue ); and Yambo Ouologuem (Le Devoir de Violence) have used the orality of the griots to inform their narrative. In looking at the griots' words, I examine how these authors have not only adapted it in written form but also translated the speech from Bambara, the local language, to French, the written one. In this act of double translation, I investigate which aspects of the griots' speech are and are not reflected in the novel. Moreover, I ask how does the translation from oral Bambara to written French affect our reading of the novel? My Fulbright Hays supported fieldwork in Mali in 2005-06 year addressed these issues. I lived in Kela and Kita, two sites found in Mande region of Mali, where I worked with three different griots families: Diabaté, Kouyaté and Tounkara. Through observations of and interviews with the family members, I examined the griots' speech as it is used in their daily lives. Particularly, my focus was on the speech---text---of the griots in their "social" performances at baptisms, weddings and funerals. My study of the griots and their speech in these settings allowed me to uncover the significant absence and presence of the griots' speech from my field research to the novels mentioned above. For example, a prominent marker of the griots' speech in the novels is to preface a conversation with a figure of speech. In my fieldwork, I look at how the griots use these spoken metaphors compare to what I have read in the novels. The novels show a concise rendering of these spoken metaphors whereas the griots use them frequently and repetitively. In the end, I employ ethnography to inform my literary readings of the texts; at the same time, it represents a link between my fieldwork and the novels.
Subject:Language, literature and linguistics; Ba, Amadou Hampate; Diabate, Massa Makan; Griots; Mali; Mande; Niane, Djibril Tamsir; Novels; Orality; Ouologuem, Yambo; Senegal; Comparative literature; African literature; 0295:Comparative literature; 0316:African literature
Added Entry:M. D. Rosello
Added Entry:Northwestern University