Writing Literature in the Mother Tongue: Challenges and Complexities Facing Native Intellectuals

Zakarya Aldukhayil


Indigenous intellectuals have been facing a dilemma when discussing the issue of writing literature since the decolonization of their nations. In Africa, for example, this issue has been discussed since the 1960s until this time. Which language should be used to write African literature? While some intellectuals have proposed using the native language of the writer, other intellectuals have argued for the opposite position: African literature should be written in a European language. This paper examines the chronological evolution of this debate between African intellectuals since 1962. In this complex and lengthy debate about writing in indigenous languages or European languages, Chinua Achebe argues that using a European language unites the diverse components of the nation. On the other hand of this debate, Ngugi Wa Thiong’o argues that the use of European languages instead of an African language in literature is a form of subjugation.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/wjel.v13n2p408

World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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