chapter  4
18 Pages

Horses of Memory and The Word is an Egg: Osundare’s Poetic Voices

My fi rst attempt to present È làlò rò  to an international audience was at the fi rst ever International Comparative Literature Association (ICLA) congress to be held in Africa,1 at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. My paper was titled, “È làlò rò : A (Pan-) African Theory for Critical Discourse.” I revisitd the issue of racial biases in critical process and African writers during and immediately after colonization and Black American writers, especially before Harlem Rennanssance had fi rsthand experience of what I call racist criticism. But what might his be? Chinua Achebe (1989) simply calls it colonialist criticism (79-90). It is the kind of criticsm where White critics reject literary projects for simple reason that it did not look like European form, or where Anglo-American critics side with a White author when he or she demonstrated racist tendency by portraying non-White people as lesser than White. In my paper, Niyi Osundare and Chniua Achebe feature prominently because of their vocal voices against racist criticism. I submitted È làlò rò  as a discourse paradigm, and, although it embraces cultural originality, it is antithetic to racist and myopic tendencies.