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The Primordial Image

African, Afro-American and Caribbean Mythopoetic Text


Ikenna Dieke

This fascinating book is an attempt to establish that in African, Afro-American and Caribbean literature certain primordial and mythic patterns recur sufficiently to be recognizable as familiar elements in our literary experience. Behind the pattern of each selected work, we recognize a more generalized pattern or archetype both in terms of narrative and thematic vision as well as imagery and characterization. Each chapter identifies and discusses an archetypal image in relationship to a specific work or set of works. From the female mythos to the archetype of eschatology, from the dionysian unconscious to the archetypal themes of identity and alienation and the sense of the fragmentation of the ego, the primordial images found in these works provide the vast common ground for the explorations of self or for bridging the distance between self and other, between the conscious and the unconscious layers of the human creative psyche.
Contents: a.) Primordial images such as the Female Mythos, the Quest, the Bildungsroman, the Wise Man, the Dionysian Archetype, the Archetype of Eschatology, and Eros and Psychedelic Experience. b.) For college and university teachers and students. c.) My book is unique because although there have been scattered attempts in the past that focus on some mythic forms in selected African, Afro-American, and Caribbean literary works, little attempt has so far been made either to higlight the interrelationships of these archetypal patterns or subject the texts to the kind of comparative Jungian interpretation attempted in this book.