Literary Aesthetics in the Narration of Dagara Folktales

Martin Kyiileyang


Dagara folktales, like other African folktales, are embedded with various literary aesthetic features related to structure, language and performance. This paper examines major literary aesthetics found in Dagara folktales. The methodology used is based on the collection, analysis and interpretation of selected Dagara folktales gathered through fieldwork. The focus of the paper is on the structure and the language of Dagara folktales. The argument of this paper is grounded on the Structuralist Theory as seen in Gerard Genette’s Narrative Discourse which offers the basic constituents and techniques of narrative. Genette proposes various categories of narrative which cover Time, Mood and Voice. Genette’s narrative structure suggests that the various categories and subcategories emphasise that the narrative is a complex structure in which the narratee is largely present in the various strata of the structure. Genette is concerned with the macro-text of the recit, that is, the ordering of events in the narrative. The study revealed that there are similarities and differences in the structure and the language of Dagara folktales in relation to other African folktales.

Keywords: Dagara People, Folktale, Literary Aesthetics, Performance, Structuralist Theory

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