Available on JSTOR at: doi.org/10.2307/3334275
Mr. Kane argues that initial African literary studies have suffered from a lack of documents and from the inadequate training of researchers who are inhibited by their established modes of thinking. Hence much of the literary criticism written by Africans is anecdotal and superficial. The writer himself may help in over-coming this limitation, but knowing an author's views on life or literature is not basis enough for a sound analysis of his work. Critics have abused the interview technique, presenting the writer with a temptation he cannot often resist–the opportunity of giving the public an image of himself that seldom corresponds to his true personality. For effective interpretation, the need for more data on Africa is crucial, for literary criticism cannot exist in a vacuum. It must ally itself with other disciplines: sociology, economics, political science. African literature will retain its bonds with Europe for many years to come, but it must begin to move away from this paternalistic model. African criticism must gear itself towards the African public using African criteria and not be inspired solely by European canons.