• Suspending the ‘Lack’ Through Art: African and Western Epistemological and Artistic Intersections (Mia Couto, Wole Soyinka, Léopold Senghor, Gaston Bachelard and Mark Epstein)

    Irene Marques (see profile)
    Lusophone African Literatures, Postcolonial Studies, West African Literature
    African literature (Portuguese), Portuguese speaking Africa, Africans--Social life and customs
    Item Type:
    African systems of knowledge, Comsic envelope, Lack, Léopold Senghor, Mia Couto, Wole Soyinka, Lusophone African literatures and cultures
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    As a continuation of my previous transcultural comparative project, the current study aims to unearth some other similarities that exist between African classical knowledge systems, as put forward in the writing of Mia Couto and the work of other Africanists such as Wole Soyinka, Jacob Olupona and Léopold Senghor— in respect to their links to poetic speech and relational, holistic and mystical epistemologies—and the ideas defended by some western critics such as Mark Epstein, Gaston Bachelard, John Fox, and Mark Greene, in relation to the powers of poetic language (or art in general) and the search for knowledge, holism, and existential realization. The central argument here is that poetry and creative writing have the function of powerful therapies, serving as tools that allow a holistic apprehension of life, a figurative entrance into and recreation of the “cosmic envelope” and in that sense, are very much associated with relational and holistic African traditional ways of understanding self and universe. Thus, it is argued that both of these processes have a sublimating function serving to disrupt human fragmentation and temporarily (and symbolically) suspend the “lack” (incompletion and loneliness) that most (if not all) humans are bound to feel.
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    5 years ago
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