This essay explores how Emmanuel Dongala’s story “Jazz and Palm Wine” (1970) rewrites Imiri Baraka’s story “Answers in Progress” (1967). Baraka’s story calls for a black revolution based in furturist thinking and diaspora consciousness embodied in jazz. In rewriting Baraka, Dongala resists discourses of coherent and stable identity through a recasting of the aesthetic functions of futurism and jazz. Dongala’s intertextual use of, and emendations to, Baraka’s story suggest his discomfort with articulations of diaspora identity that, in the late 60s, were increasingly defined by cultural symbols. In transposing Baraka’s futurist fable of the revolution to the African continent, Dongala stresses that while aesthetic objects, even ones as universally appealing as jazz, can be equally affective in different contexts, those contexts generate dramatically different effects.
Original Publication Information
Willey, A. "A Bridge over Troubled Waters: Jazz, Diaspora Discourse, and E. B. Dongala’s “Jazz and Palm Wine” as Response to Amiri Baraka’s “Answers in Progress”." 2013. Research in African Literatures, 44(3): 138-151.
Willey, Ann Elizabeth, "A bridge over troubled waters : jazz, diaspora discourse, and E. B. Dongala's "Jazz and palm wine" as response to Amiri Baraka's "Answers in progress"." (2013). Faculty Scholarship. 305.