By Evan Maina Mwangi
Explores the metafictional techniques of latest African novels instead of characterizing them essentially as a reaction to colonialism.
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Additional resources for Africa Writes Back to Self: Metafiction, Gender, Sexuality
For instance, the Genealogies and Functions of Self-Reflexive Fiction 33 discrimination against Gı˜ku˜yu˜ women is rationalized through narratives that present women as poor managers of livestock and oppressive leaders. In the novel, the principal character’s father inducts him into manhood through narratives of the tribal nation that justify the economic marginalization of women. One of the myths even claims that wild animals were once women’s domesticated livestock, but the women could not manage them.
Novels in the series that did not primarily handle these grand themes were allowed to go out of print because they were not widely used in schools. As noted by Susan Z. Andrade, the novelistic genre was at this time dominated by male writers, and the women novelists in existence were overlooked because “novels by women were understood to be uninterested in politics” (2007, 87). 5 As its founding editor, Chinua Achebe guided the African Writers Series to produce some of the best-known novels from the continent.
This seems to be the argument that Rey Chow presents in her discussion of nonrealist artistic projects in The Age of the World Target (2006), in which she draws upon a tradition within Marxism that goes back to Marx and Engel’s distinction between art and propaganda in order to underscore the centrality of subtlety even to radical literature and aesthetics. In distinguishing artistic statement from political pronouncements, Marx and Engels startlingly insist on indirection as the key component of revolutionary art.