Organization of time in Joseph Ephraim Casely Hayford’s Ethiopia Unbound: a structuralist interpretation under the macrotext of the recit

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The advent of science threw a challenge to the usefulness and integrity of the poetic message because, prior to the end of the nineteenth century, poetic emphasis was on the content and function of art. Emphasis was on the content and function of art as prescribed by classical critics. It was after this period that the formalists took up the challenge to bring form to the centre stage in literary criticism at the expense of content. This development alienated the author, the reader and the real world from the text, which became the focal point in which language and content were inseparable and the same. The text became an autonomous entity enjoying an objective status with the sole aim of achieving pleasure through its own aesthetics. In 1960, structuralism became a culmination of formalism. The emphasis here is on the status of the reader and not that of the text nor the author. Unlike traditional criticism, structuralism defines the very structure of the literary work to give pleasure only. A work of art, thus, becomes an aesthetic object, which requires specialists and special rules and regulations to appreciate it because it is theory centered. This calls for its own metalanguage to do so. The reader in structuralism therefore must be encoded to enable him to investigate the text, which is a discourse on the reality of textual language. The structures that the reader realizes from the text itself are also a discourse, therefore the situation is that of discourse on a discourse. This is a exactly the case in this discourse on Organization of Time in Casely Hayford’s Ethopia Unbound within the context of Genette’s Macrotext of the Recit. Finally, to all and sundry who helped in diverse ways, I say thank you. I take all the blame for the lapses and weaknesses of this discourse.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Languages, College of Arts and Social Sciences in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of a Master of Arts degree in Comparative Literature, 2004