Abstract for Oral Tradition in African-American Creative Writing: Simulating Orality Through Narrating Instances

Abstract: This article is the second one of a project on the study of the uses of oral traditions in African-American literature. Whereas the first one dealt with the deployment of music in African- American literary works, this one will focus on the simulation of orality or the mimicking of oral storytelling in three African-American women’s narratives: Toni Cade Bambara’s My Man Bovanne (1972), Morrison’s Love (2003), and J California Cooper’s Some People, Some Other Place (2004). It discusses how these three creative writers replicate features of oral communication in their written narratives, thus turning them into oral performances reminiscent of traditional stories told at night around the fire or on the threshold of the house by the grandparents through the use of the first-person narration in which they embed an autotelic mode.

Keywords: Narrating Instance – Oral Tradition – Simulation – Orality – Firstperson Narration – Second-person Narration – Storytelling – Sermon – Language – African-American Women Writers – Folk Culture – Black Women Writers