Massa Makan Diabate au carrefour de l'initiation et de l'ecriture
Advisord'Almeida, Irene Assiba
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractPoet, novelist, playwright, storyteller, traditionalist, Massa Makan Diabate is a griot-writer from Mali, and his relation to the griots shapes his entire work. Here, Diabate's work is situated within the Mandinka sociocultural framework to point out how the artist manipulates his knowledge of familial tools in his writing to create a new mode of expression in African literature. This dissertation examines Diabate's writing from two perspectives. It concentrates first on the period of his initiation to the Malinke oral traditions and the art of jaliya, the oral narratives used by the griots. The focus then turns to the Malian writer's individual creative works. The question for orality and writing on one hand, and the quest for the betterment of his characters on the other band, are Diabate's sustained use of fadenya, understood as "father-child-ness". Fadenya is a quest for social distinction. It encourages individuals to follow the path of their ancestors, and to surpass their ancestors' accomplishments. It defines the rivalry between siblings and, in a broader sense, conveys the competition among individuals seeking social recognition. This dissertation addresses these issues not only in the spirit of expanding on current research in Francophone nouvelle ecriture with its footing in the oral traditions, culture and civilization of West Africa, but also in Francophone studies in general.
Degree ProgramGraduate College