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Assefa, Taye (1986) Form in the Amharic novel. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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In previous studies of Amharic prose fiction, the question of form has not received sufficient attention. The aim of this dissertation is to provide a critical introduction to narrative modes in the Amharic novel. To show the various tendencies in the methods of presention used during the brief tradition of novelistic writing, the works of ten representative writers have been selected from different periods. These are: Afawarq's Lebb Wallad Tarik, Heruy' s Haddis Alam, Germachaw's Ar'aya, Makonnen's Almot'hum Beyye Alwashem, Nagash's Setenna, Adari, Berhanu's Ya-Tewodros Enba, Haddis' Feger Eska Magaber, Dannachaw's Adafres. Ba'alu's Ka-admas Bashaggar, and Abbe's Ya-raggafu Ababoch. Each of these works is discussed separately, in the order of its publication. In each of the ten chapters the construction of plot, the delineation of characters, the modes of exposition, the rendition of scenes, and the intrusions of the narrator are closely scrutinized so as to give an insight into the formal features of each work. In each case attempts are also made to assess not only the degree of coherence in the surface structure, but also the harmonization of the meanings and/or effects generated by the particular method of presentation. The main finding of this study is that while the tendency to preach by using thinly-disguised demonstrative episodes, mouthpiece characters, and/or moralizing commentary still persists, the practice of subtly conveying the author's vision of life through plausibly dramatized situations has also begun to win more adherents. Many novels appealing after 1950 E.C. resort to characters that are social types rather than abstractions of ideas. Their plots operate on a higher scale of probability. Their dialogues are casual and have the semblance of naturalness. They use narrators that are less patronizing and reserved from openly conveying their value judgements. Events axe presented achronologically, often in scenic form.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:12

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