Birago Diop

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Diop, Birago


Born in 1906 in Senegal. Senegalese writer and folklorist.

Diop writes in French. His books Tales of Amadou Koumba (1947), New Tales of Amadou Koumba (1958), and Tales and “Lavanes” (1963) are fine literary treatments of folklore. They are directed against the power of the wealthy, who are despised by the working people, and against greed, self-interest, parasitism, and idleness. However, Diop is known for a certain idealization of Africa’s patriarchal structure and its animistic religion. His poetry is in the collection Lures and Glimmerings (1960).


In Russian translation:
Skazki Amadu Kumba. Moscow, 1961. (With an afterword by E. L. Gal’perina.)
V ritmakh tam-tama. Moscow, 1961. (With an introductory article by E. L. Gal’perina.)
Golosa afrikanskikh poetov. Moscow, 1968. (Translated from English and French.)


Mikhailov, M. “Novye skazki B. Diopa.” Vostochnyi al’manakh, 1963, issue 6.
Potekhina, G. I. Ocherki sovremennoi literatury Zapadnoi Afriki. Moscow, 1968.
References in periodicals archive ?
Yeats, Yes Yes Yes "The Second Coming" Joseph Conrad Heart of Heart of Darkness Darkness Wole Soyinka Death and the The Lion and Death and the King's the Jewel King's Horseman Horseman Mariama Ba So Long a Letter Birago Diop "The Bone"; "Mother Crocodile" Bernard Dadie "The Mirror of Dearth"; "The Black Cloth"; "The Hunter and the Boa" Kamau From Rights of Brathwaite Passage; "Limits" Leopold 9 Poems 3 Poems 5 Poems Senghor Doris Lessing "The Old Chief Mshlanga"
The griot tales included in the second edition of The Norton Anthology, transcribed into French prose by Birago Diop and Bernard Dadie, can also compliment Achebe's novel with its recitation of stories in an oral literature tradition.
Yeats, "The Yes Yes Second Coming" Joseph Conrad Heart of Darkness Wole Soyinka Death and the King's Death and the King's Horseman Horseman Birago Diop "The Bone"; "Mother Omitted; orature Crocodile" represented by one-page Ghanian Anancy tale Bernard Dadie "The Mirror of Omitted; orature Dearth"; "The Black represented by one-page Cloth"; "The Hunter Ghanian Anancy tale and the Boa" Leopold Senghor 9 Poems 8 Poems Doris Lessing "The Old Chief "The Old Chief Mshlanga" Mshlanga"
He lauds Birago Diop for rewriting Koumba's tales and affirms that "the tradition of African letters in the European languages has been founded upon a situation marked by a profound and radical ambivalence about theme and mode of expression.
Survivor Bob Ballantyne, above left, paid tribute yesterday to the men lost on Piper Alpha by reading a poem by African writer Birago Diop called The Dead Are Not Dead
Steptoe continued to work in the area of children's literature, illustrating his own books and those of other authors, most of them black, including Lucille Clifton, Eloise Greenfield, Arnold Adoff, and Birago Diop.
To a degree, the author follows the tradition set by Birago Diop of Senegal and Bernard Dadie of the Ivory Coast, who supplied a great deal of the African essence to the French language during the literary upsurge of the fifties.
Still, most Africans reading The Piano Lesson will remember the famous poem on the dead, "Breath," by the Senegalese poet Birago Diop, which Soyinka quotes in full in his Myth, Literature and the African World (131-33).
Dreadful though they may be in content, these excellently written stories combine the satire and imagination of a Montesquieu and the inventiveness, humor, and oral tradition of a Bernard Dadie, a Birago Diop, and others.