The Power of the Word La Puissance du Verbe: The Cambridge by T.J. Cribb

By T.J. Cribb

This publication is the checklist of a colloquium held at Churchill university, Cambridge. It pursues traces of dialogue radiating out from the middle subject matter of the ability of the picture (understood in its pictorial, iconic, sensory and verbal senses). Writers, students and artists are grouped in pairs representing the 2 language-cultures (English and French). significant subject matters lined comprise the manifold ways that our readings of pictorial pictures outdated and modern can bridge cultures, language politics and the politics of tradition, the unlimited and instructive senses of the idea that of the ‘word’, the relation among orality and the written textual content, the results of the act of writing, historical past and opera, the observe in theatre, the effect of the Nobel Prize…. The phrases of dialogue universally urbane, without difficulty wide-ranging and deeply probing. most significantly – and a reminder of ways most sensible to make sure literate knowledge in intercultural debate – is the truth that the members amassed right here have shunned all ‘pre-packaging’ in their reflections within the shibboleth ‘discourses’ (whether Freudian, poststructuralist, postmodern or postcolonial) of our time. individuals Anthony Kwame Appiah, Biyi Bandele, Jacques Chevrier, Tim Cribb, Ir?ne d’Almeida, Casimir d’Angelo, Assia Djebar, Akin Euba, Christiane Fioupou, Lorna Goodison, Wilson Harris, Marika Hedin, Gerard Houghton, Abiola Irele, Anny King, John Kinsella, Henri Lop?s, Daniel Maximin, Femi Osofisan, Niyi Osundare, Ato Quayson, Alain Ricard, Tracy Ryan, Julien Sinzogan, Alioune Sow, Wole Soyinka, George Steiner, V?ronique Tadjo, Maria Tippett, Olabiyi Ya?

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That brings me to the politics of the line or, in a manner of speaking, the 6 THE POWER OF THE WORD \ music of differential syntax. In Yorùbá, the words throb within the lines, which are themselves rich and supple, employing all manner of repetition subtle and/or direct, tonal and verbal play, tonal counterpoint, and so many other devices to be ti mu ba kun gbe (that are agreeable to the ear and the mind). Emphasis, almost always, is on euphony, rhythmicality and polyrhythmicality, music and meaning.

For, in Yorùbá, poetry is music. You do not read poetry in Yorùbá; you chant it, you utter it, you sing it. Tone, cadence, voice modulation etc constitute part of the drama of the uttering. The English poem may be read with the eye; the Yorùbá poem is ‘read’ with the ear. English poetry operates though a panoply of metrical and prosodic features, Yorùbá poetry through a complex and comprehensive rhythmic pattern in which all linguistic units right down to the syllable are suffused with music and its drama, the poetic line being unamenable to scansion because it is constantly mobile and elastic.

Il écrit: Ce cœur obsédant ... Ce désespoir à nul autre égal d’apprivoiser, avec des mots de France ce cœur qui m’est venu du Sénégal (“Trahison” en Senghor, Anthologie de la nouvelle poésie nègre et malgache de langue française, Paris: P U F , 1948: 108) Je pense que tout le problème est là. Moi-même, pardonnez la publicité, j’ai été si obsédé par cette idée que dans un de mes livres, Le Chercheur d’Afriques, un de mes personnages essaie de traduire en lingala plusieurs auteurs qu’il apprécie, d’origines diverses et pas seulement issus de la francophonie.

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