oa Alternation - The Ethiopia metaphor: a dialectic myth of Africa

Volume 4, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



Myths solve nothing, arrange nothing', claims Frank Yerby in his novel, The Man from Dahomey ('Note to the Reader'). But since he is merely writing fiction about Africa he may be forgiven for such a careless attitude to myth. By way of contrast, let me quote a serious historian of Ancient Egypt, Barry Kemp, who has to handle myth rather more circumspectly: All people's knowledge of most things - their everyday 'working knowledge' - is throughout akin to myth, and is in part truly myth. We cannot afford to be too dismissive of myth or patronising about it, for it is an inescapable facet of the human mind (Kemp 1989:6).

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