Friday, December 19, 2008

Contes Du Pays Des Moose: Burkina Faso

My colleague Nina Tanti is translating another colleague's book, Stories of the Moose country, by Alain Sissao. It is a collection of folktales that Alain collected over the 1980s and 1990s. Curiously, many of them are reminiscent of folktales I've read that were collected in northern Sudan. Lots of arbitrary killing of animal, ogres, chiefs, women and children. The hyena is the figure of ridicule, the hare of cleverness. I'm sure there is a deep logic to it all! I enjoyed Alain's crisp rendering of the tales: for an advanced French reader (though hardly fluent) who is also very comfortable with Burkinabè French style, it is a pleasure to read. Nina's translations should bring the book to a wider audience.

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