LSi Reviews  

 

African Short Stories Vol. 1 Published!

African Short Stories Vol. 2: Calling for Submissions

Project Award Dedicated to Chinua Achebe

African Short Stories Vol. 2 Published!

 

 

 

African Short Stories Vol. 1

 

EDITOR'S PREFACE TO VOLUME 1

 

AFRICAN Short Stories Vol.1 comes at an important period in the expansion of literary dimensions in Africa through the various online and international programmes of cultural organisations of which the Literary Society (LSi) and the International Research Council (IRCALC) are notable in the domain of African cultural dissemination today. The project is borne from the belief, quite rightly, that the short story has always been an important although largely neglected medium for artistic and educational development of ancient traditions and cultures. In the past the distinction between young and old was but a tenuous divide that melded the purpose and intention of craft into one single unity of personal and collective elevation.


With the era of machinery, industrialisation and celebration of individualism by modern man, the collective landscape waned in the minds of even the brightest thinkers fashioned by cultures that thrived upon conquest and domination and the celebration of the body as the ultimate reality in a universe of human existence. Only the story might stand the chance of redeeming the collective amnesia of humanity that always seemed reluctant to imbibe the habit and art of remembering which the story had always offered human memory from the dawn of time.


It is not surprising that through modern epochs most creative writers and novelists had started out with short story writing. Only a handful, however, was consistent or successful in handling the compressed narrative structure of story telling tradition for a useful length of time. Impatient with the art, many had abandoned the short form for the fad of bulk prose narratives where the attention of aficionados through mainstream media was fixated for centuries. Nevertheless in many African and Asiatic cultures the short story remains an elegant and celebrated means of cultural transmission and moral upbringing of the young, of men and women, even of the very old and young at heart.


What the Literary Society (LSi) has done therefore is merely to stoop backward in this present time in order to scoop occasionally some of the forgotten traditions of the past. By this effort lies the heartening proof that our writers are genuinely poised to revive reading and critical interest in African short fictions and their worldwide transmission through available information and distribution media.


The Call for Submissions which began two years ago was fraught with the challenge of reaching the widest spectrum of writers and scholars from varying traditions and nationalities within and beyond the continent. The use of the internet media proved a welcome and useful tool in the achievement of this purpose. Submissions were left open to published or not-yet-published writers from anywhere in the world. As many entries as a writer could submit were acceptable and the tolerance for entries with problems of linguistic or stylistic execution was extended to include writers for whom English may not have been a second or official language. This has seen the acceptance of works originally published in Arabic, Swahili, Xhosa, Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba (and other African language of world broadcast) but translated by diligent scholars for the benefit of the English speaking readership.


The adoption of a review process by the Literary Society in the consideration of quality of language and style of composition has helped in providing only a modicum of standard for the acceptance of works which serve the universal human purpose of elevation of mind, emotion and values for the pleasurable enjoyment of society. Thus have we welcomed these works of elegant imagination and construction including the consideration of life writing and epic renditions as presented in short story mode. Here most submissions have been less, but not more than, ten thousand words of original compositions.


While we wilfully neglected to use some work based on pedestrian and beaten concerns that might titillate contemporary voyeurs, seeing them as not quite fitting for this volume’s objectives, we have accepted most that have relied upon or recreated familiar oral traditions and legends using some elements of individuality of rendition that gives at least seventy-five percent innovation and variation in composition.


Therefore, in spite of some literary experimentations across the genres (poetic and dramatic), and the marriage of traditional story telling with modern narrative techniques which might merit especial recognition, stories in this volume have strived to reflect aspects of modern or traditional life showing credible fictional characterisation (from human and animal prototypes) and visionary perspectives on conflict within the tradition of the short fiction narrative.
It is my belief that African Short Stories Vol. 1 will fire the imagination of these writers and encourage them to assess their talents alongside like minds. In the world of cultural imagination, readers will find this a scintillating and refreshing variance from previous efforts, and a hopeful glimpse toward a future of infinite creative possibilities.

Chin CE - 03-2013

Read the Foreword to Volume 2

Table of Contents

 

 

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