The Roles Of Narrators in Geez Narratives and Early Amharic Didactic Prose Fiction

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Addis Ababa University


Many foreign and Ethiopian scholars (for example, Kane (1975), Molvaer (1986), Amsalu (1976), Asfaw (1973) ...)claim that most of the early Amharic prose fiction writers have in one way or another been influenced by Geez religious literature. Some literary scholars have even pointed out specific influences like: Overt patronization of the reader (Kane 1975), preoccupation with religious and moralistic issues (Amsalu (1976), Kane (1975») and the like. In spite of their claim that Geez religious literature has exerted considerable impact on early Amharic prose fiction, the scholars have not substantiated this with independent textual studies. There is no research conducted so far to show the influences of Geez narratives upon Amharic didactic prose fiction. Due to this, the need for conducting such a study is therefore obvious. The aim of the study is thus, ~o trace possible influences of Geez narra~ives on early Amharic didactic prose fic0ion in the roles of narrators. The thesis has four parts: the first chapter is the theoretical part which deals with the concept "narrator" and ~he roles of narrators in fiction. The second chapter is devo~ed to the roles of narrators in Geez narratives. The third chap~er is con. iv with some influences of Geez narratives on early Amharic didactic prose fiction in the roles of narrators. The fourth chapter is the conclusion. The researcher has described the influences of Geez narra~~ves on early Amharic prose fiction in terms of content and form. In the case of content, the influences concern preoccupation with religious and moral themes as seen from the point of view of the Orthodox church. In the case of form, the influences concern the identification of character and setting, description of character, preoccupation with summary, report and commentary, direct addressing narratee, wavering of point of view, intercalation, heading and content, and "sacred", traditional and figurative languages. With respect to these thematic and formal aspects, the objectives of narrators in using the techniques, and the manner, extent or frequency of the techniques used in the narratives are taken into account.



Early Amharic Didactic Prose