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The Guardian

Letter: Gerald Moore obituary

By Idowu Omoyele,

Gerald Moore in 1962, the year of his first book, Seven African Writers

Gerald Moore’s first book, Seven African Writers (1962), made him a pioneer of African literary criticism. With Margaret Laurence, Janheinz Jahn, Bernth Lindfors and Ulli Beier, he was one of a number of non-African critics and cultural aficionados who, after the second world war, displayed great commitment in their scholarly engagement with modern African literature.

Not only a biography, Moore’s Wole Soyinka (1971) is also a work of literary criticism, and indeed was the first published book-length critical study of the Nigerian writer’s work.

The attention that Moore gave to francophone African literature included translations into English of Selected Poems (1970) by the Congolese writer Tchicaya U Tam’si and of Poèmes de la Mer, the 1968 debut by another Congolese poet, Jean-Baptiste Tati Loutard, as Poems of the Sea (1990).

Moore also contributed reviews to Black Orpheus, Africa’s first English-language literary journal, founded (and edited) by Beier in Ibadan in 1957.

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