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Biography of Djibril TAMSIR NIANE

Guinea > Literature : Djibril TAMSIR NIANE

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Born on 09/01/1932 (format : day/month/year)

Biography :

Djibril Tamsir Niane (born January 9,1932), is a historian and playwright from Guinea Conakry.

Niane, Djibril Tamsir (b. 1932). A historian committed to decolonizing African history, Niane was born in Guinea but has taken Senegalese nationality. In his best-known literary work, "Soundjata ou l'Épopée mandingue" (1960), he recounts the story of the legendary (Soundiata Keïta) founder of the Mali empire, as told to him by a traditional story-teller (griot).Part of a wave of literature which sought to propose heroic models to the African people during the independence struggle, Niane's epic has been likened by Western critics to the works of Homer and La Chanson de Roland. In" Sikasso ou la Dernière Citadelle "(1971), Niane deals with African resistance to the French, emphasizing how the French exploited divisions between African chiefs, and making a lucid appeal for African unity. Niane's interest in the past springs from his concern for the future of Africa. His collection of short stories, Méry (1975), is further evidence of his sober, objective, materialist analysis of African society and its relationship with the West. He consistently contests the West's claim to a monopoly of civilization, rationality, and science. What distinguishes him from the majority of writers of his generation is his ability to expose the underlying mechanisms of society. His materialist approach enables him to deal incisively with issues such as race with an unusual lack of emotionalism. His latest contribution to African artistic ventures is the translation into Bambara of the scenario of Sembène's film, Samory.

Last update : 03/30/2010

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