This paper is a statement on the function of African literary criticism at the present time, in that it argues a new ethic of contemporary discourse on African literature that sets its lights on the sad state of affairs on the continent. There are no real gains for anyone when scholars are driven from their countries and their cherished pursuits by unpleasant social and political conditions created by power-hungry politicians. Whether we are engaged in the study of oral literature or modern writing, we should contribute our quota toward restoring sanity in Africa by questioning the logic of power relations projected by our texts. It is our duty to help "nurture a new generation of scholars who will not flinch from questioning the assumptions underlying the ideas fed to them, the way their predecessors were seldom inclined to do."


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pp. 68-73
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