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The Problems Of African Writers Essay

730 words - 3 pages

"In much of what has been known for 40 years as the Third World, book publishing today is in a state of despondency and frustration, and it is hard to find, in the lush pastures of the Euro American book industry, anyone who cares. Cross-border publishing investment readily crosses the Atlantic in both directions, but does not venture southwards. Latin America, Africa and most of Asia still are seen primarily as export markets, and difficult ones at that." (Gordon Graham, Publisher's Weekly, 15 February, 1991)The crisis in African writing is very much evident through this statement as the Africanwriters are facing not only the problems of language but also the problems ofpublication and recognition, which is lacking in general for them because of the lack ofresources. Going step by step to render the difficulties confronted by the African writers thepicture that will appear will truly reflect the sorry state of affairs for them. While writingsomething, the first thing that is required is the manuscript. To write the manuscripts, thebasic problem for the writer is that of the language. There was a dilemma in them to selectEnglish as a medium of communication as the Dark Continent is known for its various locallanguages. A child acquires his native language very easily and becomes a master in that. Butbecause of the colonization these writers selected the English language to give air to theirthoughts and feelings. The effect of colonization was so profound on them that it shatteredthe harmony between their native language and the language that they used in their schools.Their language was no longer treated as valid in the schools run by the missionaries. As aresult English acquired the dominant part in their writings as it became the symbol ofintelligence and ability in the arts, the sciences and all the other branches of learning.Moreover in order to come in terms with the world dominated by the English writers, thechoice that was left for them was to treat...

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