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H LAWRENCE: A SUBLIME WRITER
(Above) D.H Lawrence Eighty years ago (March 2, 1930) the great English writer D H (David Herbert) Lawrence breathed his last after a 20 year writing career that had produced excellent (if controversial) novels, plays, poems and essays. Lawrence is now considered one of the all-time greats of English literature. Hey! Many of you might be wondering out there. What‟s all this about? Is this not supposed to be a blog for black African literature? Why the tribute to Lawrence? The answer is simple. African literature has been influenced from inception by the English classics; authors like Shakespeare, Smollet, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Emily Bronte, and DH Lawrence. Hence we can not say African writing has existed in a vacuum. Prominent African writers like Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, Njabulo Ndebele, Mirriam Tlali, Tsitsi Dangarembga etc have always confessed how much English works shaped, or influenced their work. As regards DH Lawrence in particular he has had a major influence on Ngugi wa Thiong‟o (on the latter‟s admission) with Ngugi producing African classics of his like A grain of wheat, and Petals of blood. Ngugi always said he loved how Lawrence “entered into the spirit of things” Additionally, DH Lawrence always identified with the “masses” so to speak. Throughout his writing career he was targeted, with some of his works banned, seized by authorities. Lawrence came from what many black Africans cynically refer to as “the lowly classes”; but more accurately he was from the working class. He enjoyed travelling, and mixing with “underdogs” ,people who he believed had not been corrupted by industrialization or materialism. As Africans, we know only too well how many of our distinguished wordsmiths have suffered inexorably at the hands of the powers that be. For many, they have had to endure stints in jail - I have in mind great writers like Ngugi himself, Kofi Awoonor, Jack Mapanje and the indomitable Wole Soyinka. Lawrence, whilst alive was many times moved to despair. It is not the scope of this very very brief article to discuss Lawrence‟s literary works. Suffice it to say that his style was original, instinctive, fluent and powerful. His famous description of the “rainbow” is an example: “And then in the blowing clouds, she saw a band of faint iridescence colouring in faint colours a portion of the hill (the) colour gathered, mysteriously, from nowhere, it took presence upon itself, there was a faint, vast rainbow. The arc bended and strengthened itself till it arched indomitable, making great architecture of light and colour and the space in heaven, its pedestals luminous in the corruption of new houses on the low hill, its arch the top of heaven.” (from The Rainbow) DH Lawrence published novels like Aaron’s Rod, Kangaroo, Lady Chatterley’s lover, The Plumed Serpent, The Rainbow, Sons and Lovers, Women in Love. He published some ten volumes of poetry including Birds, Beasts and Flowers, Last Poems, and Pansies.. Among his non-fiction or essays were Studies in Classic American Literature and A study of Thomas Hardy
Three (Neo)colonial Male Characters of Ama Ata Aidoo by Miriam C. Gyimah IN THE ART OF Ama Ata Aidoo: Polylectics and Reading Against Neo-colonialism, Vincent Odamtten argues that Aidoo's works consistently address the issue of neo-colonialism and its impact on the educated Ghanaian elite. Citing critics like Omolara Ogundipe-Leslie who maintains that the African woman writer has a particular commitment to discuss issues of gender, womanhood and a Third World reality, and Ngugi wa Thiong'o who asserts that African writers must write against neo-colonialism, Odamtten stresses that readers and critics of African literature should also invest in reading and writing against neo-colonialism. He says, "[i]f there are writers who are writing against neo-colonialism, there should be readercritics who complement their work" (6). He warns against reading and writing about African women characters and situations from a narrow feminist perspective. Such criticism which sometimes focuses on the ills of patriarchy through colonial impositions and those effected through "indigenous pre-colonial values and relations" promote a dichotomous analysis of African literature (4). Odamtten, then, argues for a polylectic approach to reading and critiquing these works. He says that in order to read in this manner, one must "begin to develop a polylectic understanding of Africa's economic, political, and cultural actualities" (6).
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Cultural Translation in Ama Ata Aidoo's The Dilemma of a Ghost and Osonye Tess Onwueme's The Missing Face
by KO Secovnie
Ama Ata Aidoo's The Dilemma of a Ghost and Osonye Tess Onwueme's The Missing Face demonstrate the process of finding a cultural identity that does not privilege an originary moment, yet provides space for a negotiated Pan-African identity for West Africans and African Americans. Both of these plays deal with the issue of constructing a Pan-African identity through connecting African Americans with West Africans and both highlight the simultaneous necessity for and failure of cultural translation to facilitate that connection. In each play, we find a female protagonist returning to Africa only to find that the connection she initially sought was not naturally there just waiting for her. Both women (Eulalie in Dilemma and Ida Bee in Face) find the need for a cultural translation and each looks to her African "been-to" husband/lover to provide it. In each case, the expected translator fails in his duties. It is left, instead, for the West African communities themselves, led by women, to provide a translation of culture to the two African-American women that will allow them to connect with and embrace their African identity while respecting the cultures that they find in Africa (rather than the culture that they project onto Africa). These plays, then, challenge romanticized notions of Pan-African identification through an emphasis on cultural translation and reveal the failure of the male-centered model of translation that would posit the husband as the sole translator for the wife and the "been-to" man as the sole translator for the community. Instead, a feminist agency is exerted by the West African communities in which these plays are set that undoes 1 the western notion of translation as the domain of the male, and moves it into a female-led, democratic process by which the community as a whole makes decisions about how to translate itself to the diasporic culture, thus asserting a kind of indigenous African agency while privileging the role of the female within this agency. At the
same time, it allows for the intervention of West African communities into shaping their own identities in new ways. This reshaping of identity is shown in The Dilemma of a Ghost, the story of Eulalie, an African-American woman who has married Ato, a Ghanaian man who had been studying in the United States. The couple moves to Ghana, where Eulalie realizes that Africa is not all that she had anticipated in a homeland. Ato's family, especially his mother Esi, seem rooted in their ways and intolerant of what they see as white people's ways adopted by Eulalie and Ato in their new life in Ghana. The central conflict revolves around the family's expectation that Eulalie will become pregnant and Ato's unwillingness to entertain the idea, while he allows his wife to take the brunt of his family's criticism. When, in the end, the family, led by Esi, finds out about Ato's treachery, they take Eulalie in as their own, reprimanding Ato for his failure to uphold his values and to translate those values to Eulalie. This embrace is not automatic, however. Eulalie initially romanticizes the idea of Africa. While still in the U.S. she and Ato have a conversation about moving to Africa where she demonstrates her lack of awareness about her soon-to-be home: EU: I'm optimistic, Native Boy. To belong somewhere again…. Sure, this must be bliss. ATO: Poor Sweetie Pie. EU: But I will not be poor again, will I? I'll just be 'Sweetie Pie.' Waw! The palm trees, the azure sea, the sun and golden beaches… (Aidoo 244) .... Onwueme: The Missing Face Like Aidoo's work, Osonye Tess Onwueme's The Missing Face very early on alerts the reader to the cultural conflict to come. Based on an earlier play called Legacies, Face introduces readers to Ida Bee and her son Amaechi, who have come to Africa in search of Amaechi's father Momah. Ida Bee wants her son to know his father, who stayed with her while studying in the U.S., and to embrace his African ancestry, and so they wander into the camp led by Odozi, the elder, and his wife Nebe. The first moment of misrecognition between Ida Bee and her son Amaechi and the Idu community comes when Odozi questions the strangers about who they are and where they are from. When Ida Bee is pressed for information about her lineage, she responds: From … from Idu…from all of Africa. We are the children of Africa…born in the new world. Africa is our land. We do not have to claim any particualar land or country because Africa was our nation…before the white man came to divide…disperse us. So why must we limit ourselves to one country…one state. No! The whole of Africa is our nationality. This is our land. We are the children of Africa. We come from here….(Onwueme 10) ... Onwueme also provides a flashback scene that reveals the Momah's true character and demonstrates his rejection of the mantle of cultural translator that his village has bestowed upon him. Instead, he has fully embraced the culture that those in the West tout as superior, while defensively asserting that Africa will one day adopt it: Yes, we strive to turn Africa into modern Europe. [. . .] African ways are so long and burdensome. American ways, so 'cool' and fast! A world of individualism and prosperity [. . .] We must acquire a new form of civilization. Transform the basis of our lives. Step into the 21 century walking tall. Modernize our culture. Americanize our ways. [. . .] Black-out the past. Our ancestors are nothing but archeological specimens for advanced studies on impoverished human species…Black-out the black past, backward in time and space. (29)
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But the leader. The meat is brought to the home of the lion for sharing. The point we intend to make is that the ideals of good leadership are fundamental to the concerns of African oratory. One day. The hero is one who finds personal satisfaction in the service of his community or one who has offered invaluable services to the community.. The substance of human experience out of which orature is created is that which has made sufficient impact in the community to excite the imagination of the people to literary creativity. Goat. Tale no. lion. proverbs (or the dereliction of them) and folktales for their traditional. and explore the ambiguities of human existence. tortoise rogue and wheeler-dealer wisely accepts the authority of the lion. teaching strategies. As mirror of the society it enables the community to teach. . goat and tortoise go on a hunting expedition at the end of which they kill a deer. entertain. dictators and despots. antiheroes and villains. Tortoise divides the meat into two parts-one very large and the other very small. He gives the large part to the lion and keeps the small one for himself. Modern Oratorical Teaching Strategies: The Dark Child and Children of Koloko Salient methods of African education through orature are evident in Laye Camara's The Dark Child and Chin Ce's Children of Koloko. African folk tales reveal three broad attitudes of communal attitudes towards leadership and social change as reflected in the three tales we have selected for study below. Lion is angry that goat has treated him as an ordinary citizen rather than a king and therefore strikes goat with such force that he dies. there may be monarchies and dynasties with their autocrats. “by looking at my dead companion”. Seen in this light. Effective leadership is usually entrusted in the hands of a heroic character. 4 Online Order: Add to Cart Bulk Order: Contact Publisher Orature and Oratorical Teaching Strategies in African Literature: The Examples of Laye Camara and Chin Ce by EM Sone and DM Toko Traditional literature in Africa (orature) serves as an instrument for examination of individual experience in relation to the normative order of society. For instance both novels employ oratorical devices which include songs. on its part. One of these experiences is civic responsibility and leadership training which is sadly lost in modernised or postcolonial environment. Harold Courlander notes quite rightly in A Treasury of African Folklore that the traditional African story teller employs myths. was somebody who must submerge his private interests in the pursuit of national ideals which were also in harmony with universal morality.Literature and Culture JALC No. legends. decides to share the meat into three equal parts. as against modern western. traditional literature as a creation of the imagination ultimately derives its material from the realities of society. Lion calls on the goat to share the meat. Lion then turns to tortoise and asks him to proceed with the sharing of the meat. Of course. traditions. proverbs and wise sayings to . It was used. legends.. 1 Tortoise the wise In Tale Number One1 from the North West Province. Tortoise points at the dead goat and replies. Quite often in traditional literature characters are classified in three categories –heroes. Lion is happy with the “wisdom” of tortoise and asks him where he learnt how to share meat so well. where there was one. and is still being used in several parts of rural Africa to chart social progress or to comment on how society adheres to or deviates from general community aesthetic.
described sexual difference in terms of the duties and obligations that followed from men's and women's inherent characteristics. (“Introduction” 7) Many socially constructed notions have been perpetuated through the literary works and philosophies of many societies. Maru. Elaine Showalter in her paper “Towards a Feminist Poetics” of the opinion that when “we study stereotypes of women.“(en)capsulate… the learnings of centuries about the human character and about the intricate balance between people and the world around them (1). Full Text Available in Critical Supplement Onuora Ossie Enekwe CS (A)2 Online Order: Add to Cart Bulk Order: Contact Publisher Shades of Utter(ing) Silences in The Purple Violet of Oshaantu. and Under the Tongue by B. but what men have thought women should be” (34-36). 4 Online Order: Add to Cart Bulk Order: Contact Publisher Feminine Archetypes in Ossie Enekwe's Poetry By Catherine Schneider GAYLE Rubin and Barbara Melosh in their book Modern Literary Theory: A Reader posit that “gender” is socially constructed. Women's moral superiority made them ideal wives and mothers. This becomes the objective of this paper. from a Feminist theory. Hence recent Feminist interest in literary criticism is directed at exposing how ideas of gender. Feminist criticism challenges Masculinist female (mis)perceptions and (mis)presentations while simultaneously deconstructing patriarchal “systems of thought which legitimize themselves by reference to some presence or point of authority prior to and outside of themselves “ (Hawthorn 130). we are not learning what women have felt and experienced. and the limited roles women play in literary history. In contesting phallocentric systems of thought and dismantling logocentricism. Weiss . to assess how Onuora Enekwe's portrayal of women pander to archetypal inscriptions of women as either mother (the Madonna) or destroyer (la femme fatale) – masculinist portraitures which aid in entrenching contestable notions and myths of male superiority and female inferiority. Their classic example comes from Nineteenth-century Victorian culture which Melosh notes. the sexism of male critics. charged with the solemn responsibility of guiding errant children and men. Full Text Available in Journal of African Literature and Culture JALC No. gender relationship are constructed and transmitted through literary works.
but for gaps and blanks which set great store by what is left untold. who one day drops dead in the living room of their house.. The news that she had gone mad proved more sensational than the news of her husband's death. Her namesake and foster mother Margaret Cadmore brings her up with love and dignity.” (qtd. with a dazed look in her eyes. Shange. but it is also considered as estranging. In the turmoil of death's revelation. is chosen deliberately and therefore distances itself from the mere notion of the Beti proverb of Cameroon: “Women have no mouth”. but she insists on enlightening people about her true identity. Rumours spread that she had bewitched or poisoned him an accusation which proves to be untrue as it is later revealed he died of a heart attack. Her suffering is immense and she has all the reasons in the world to poison her husband. however. and does not shed a tear –sadness is totally lacking. by being enveloped in utter silence.] is a site not only of resistance but of transformation. however. [. Kauna goes mad for a couple of hours. In Botswana.. She is an orphan who is categorised by the derogative term Masarwa or Bushman and is treated like an outcast. the home from which new dreams and visions are born. a cloister into the emotional space. partly good-humoured.” which stands for the notion that the wife is the closest person to her husband (PV 100). After the first day. however. she is described as hysterical. and that there was no evidence of her having bewitched or poisoned him. but her best friend Ali. The printed dash or the empty page does not necessarily stand for absence and lack. shield her from society's vicious racial stereotyping..“Shades of Utter(ing) Silences” delves on the idea of women's potential to unveil constricting gender and racial laws by uttering silence. The oshiWambo proverb “a woman is the house. of unexamined and unrecorded emotion and feeling.]” (Maru 13) and the remote village Dilepe is a stronghold of the most powerful chiefs where Masarwa are held as slaves. Margaret passes as Coloured. is uninterested in the preparation of the funeral. Her behaviour is indifferent. and outrageous by family and community. The speech on behalf of the widow is given by a person who is very close to the widow and who will say some favourable words about the deceased.. insulting.. Margaret Cadmore is such a woman. She is hysterical and tries to convince everybody that her husband has just come home. This voicelessness. and having the air of the village's mentally disturbed women (PV 11-12). It is not Kauna herself who tells her story. or as the title of the essay also suggests. . as Ali observes. in Stone 20) In Maru (1971). Masarwa people are considered “untouchable[s] to the local people [. (2001)4 Kauna is degraded by her husband's frequent infidelity and battering. Deep Pool of Creativity and Power The late African-American Audre Lorde once described women's inner silent spaces as “the home of great potential”: Silence [. have either been told to the speaker or written down by the widow herself and must reflect her personal sentiments. is applied by Shange's relatives to force Kauna to confess where her husband's wealth is safely kept.. She tells everyone that she is a Masarwa and as a consequence . she sleeps intensely. did not touch his food. partly mocking. The words. This is the custom and to disregard this tradition is taboo. Kauna refuses to designate someone to give a speech on behalf of the widow on the day of the funeral (PV 137-140). which does not. are] deep pools where “each one of us holds an incredible reserve of creativity and power. On the day of Shange's death. Going against Expected Voicing In The Purple Violet of Oshaantu.. Kauna disobeys this custom by applying a behaviour pattern which is normally favoured by the patriarchal society – a woman's silence. As a teacher at Leseding in Dilepe. S]ilences [...
is the use of surrealist techniques in a “postcolonial” context. in the hole left behind” (121). Zara.” 2) or the necessity of breaking silence. This practice dates back to Negritude's affiliations with such European surrealist writers as André Breton. and. 4 Online Order: Add to Cart Bulk Order: Contact Publisher Poetics of Diaspora: “La ca't.6 The following section will focus on the role of silence as a necessary platform for finding a new language which. Bessora. a livre brûlé. As suggested by Signori. and Métissage in Bessora's 53 cm by JT Westmoreland A NEW poetic and literary trend among Francophone African diasporic authors. Besides school and the hours spent with Maru's sister. The story of Duras's experimental novel La pluie d'été (1990) presents an image of a livre brûlé which has a burned hole in the middle making the text of the book unreadable.faces severe mobbing and hostility. she fetishizes these seemingly unattainable objects. Dikeledi. What serves for Duras is also applicable in a figurative sense for Vera's Under the Tongue: language is pushed “to the limit and delves into the silence at the heart of language. dominant language can satisfactorily narrate all experience is subverted by these incidents. Whereas traditionally in African diasporic context. She is threatened with dismissal from school and suffers from loneliness. Bessora employs surrealist imagery in the immigrant context to articulate a sense of unbelonging or anxiety-filled. Her suffering is intensified by her unfulfilled love for Moleka. The contradictions inherent in the immigrant position are clearly manifest in the continual .” Surrealism. similar to Zoë Wicomb's David's Story (2000) where the letters of David's story flow out of the computer due to a bullet which has destroyed the monitor. a Tswana and a son of a tribal chief. into the hole. and must ultimately be recovered in the blank. the vide out of which a new beginning is possible” (Signori 121). as it is argued. gives silence an enlarged. thus underscoring the absurdity of the immigrant situation as created by the French government. The notion that the present. charred words that surround the hole. Surrealism has been used to articulate a sense of solidarity or belonging (as in the formation of the Negritude and Black Power movements). the Swiss-Gabonese writer. Full Text Available in Journal of African Literature and Culture JALC No. Signori calls. in reference to the French author Marguerite Duras. In ironic tones. satirizes the exaggerated significance of the various “cartes” that will permit her protagonist. In reading Yvonne Vera's Under the Tongue one is reminded of what Lisa F. Margaret is surrounded by an inner quietness when she is by herself: Platform for a New Language Silence and giving voice in Under the Tongue (1996)5 has been mainly considered under the aspect of “the role of language as a medium of healing from trauma” (Samuelson. “meaning must be inferred from the remaining. by the indifference of Maru. specifically those writing from Paris. the eldest Tswana son of a paramount chief and Moleka's best friend. as Margaret sees it. The words are destroyed. “Grandmother Says. productive dimension. In her semi-autobiographical novel 53cm. hybrid state of the female immigrant in Paris. to become part of the French Nation through the acquisition of citizenship.
the modern history of the Black Atlantic is a discontinuous trajectory in which countries. Bessora inflates their importance to the point at which they become absurd. In the case of Zara. Gilroy's term “Black Atlantic” describes the “rhizomorphic. Paul Gilroy argues that. Bessora is not alone in her practice of using Surrealism to elucidate certain socio-political paradoxes. languages.2 Surrealism has been used to subvert dominant paradigms in the postcolonial francophone setting. As Zara explains it.. Full Text Available in Journal of African Literature and Culture JALC No. acceptance into the French nation is highly conditional. to become “French” not only the normalization of the body is required. (9) Zara resists absorption into the dominant culture by emphasizing and maintaining her hybrid position (and thus her alterity) throughout the novel. 4 Online Order: Add to Cart Bulk Order: Contact Publisher Colonisation and African Modernity in Cheikh Hamidou Kane's Ambiguous Adventure by B. Therefore. According to Gilroy. In this quest. Different from Bessora‟s use of surrealist modes in “The Milka Cow. international formation” of modern Black cultures that oppose the nationalist focus “common to English and African American versions of cultural studies” (4). In this case. Her surrealist counter discourse proposed in 53cm serves to expand the reader's understanding of the immigrant position regarding French citizenship. Zara is forced to negotiate not only complex bureaucratic obstacles. Gilroy defines “modernity” as the period from the end of the eighteenth to the beginning of the nineteenth centuries when the ideas of “nationality.” By fetishizing the cartes. According to Zara. based on the correct “condition” of not only the body but of one's identity itself.” 53 cm does engage with overtly political themes. the hybrid or impure identity of the immigrant (the ultimate sign of alterity) must be transformed in order to gain access to the nation. ethnicity. fractal structure of the transcultural. Dominant systems are more likely to absorb and make like themselves numerically or culturally “weaker” elements. borders. Gilroy writes: . and political ideologies are crossed in order to oppose “narrow nationalism” (12). and cultural integrity” that sustain contemporary cultural studies in the West were first developed (2). Since the Césaires and the Tropiques journal. the two cartes one must obtain in order to acquire the carte d'identité (the signifier of French citizenship) are the carte de séjour (resident visa) and the carte de gym (gym membership): . it is not necessarily the carte itself that is ridiculous but the legal processes and rigorous physical rituals one must undergo in order to obtain the desired status of citizen. But even the “inferior” or subaltern elements contribute to the evolution and transformation of the hegemonic system by producing resistances and counter discourses. the cultures of Blacks in the West have been hybrid and antithetical to “ethnic absolutism” (4-5). but the normalization of one's identity as well. but also physical ones as she forms her body into the “condition” required by the nation.. from the late eighteenth century to the present. authenticity. M'Baye IN THE BLACK Atlantic (1993).adherence to a false hope: becoming a French citizen despite the impossibility of attaining the requisite “cartes.
Their power has. Full Text Available in Journal of African Literature and Culture JALC Vol 1 No. These very few lines show that one moment of communion with the great moods and beams of moonlight can generate enough "wisdom". there is the attempt to elevate moonlighting above the ordinary pleasure of communal life. it does not have all the features of a dramatic monologue.. The first element is Gilroy's representation of the essentialising or romanticising of Black culture as being antithetical to modernity.. 3 Online Order:Add to Cart Bulk Order: Contact Publisher 'Closer to Wordsworth': Nature and Pain in Chin Ce's Full Moon poems by Kola Eke FEW AFRICAN POETS have been concerned with nature and the natural world in contrast to English poets who have written much more on nature. For one thing. Here. "crossroads" may suggest a sense of universality. it is now gifted with passionate and energetic feelings. "Full Moon". and their ubiquity as a means to make political sense of the world is currently paralleled by the languages of class and socialism by which they once appeared to have been surpassed. parental cultures: the intellectual heritage of the West. (2) There are problematic aspects of Gilroy's concept of Black modernity.. It might be tempting to think of the poem as a dramatic monologue or lyric. if anything. With Chin Ce. but this is revealed from the discourse of the single speaker.. the foundation of the poem is not the revelation of the speaker's temperament but the development of his observation and feelings. mind and nature act and react upon each other to generate a network of pleasure and pain. (33) The influence of nature upon him is such that the "moon" is perceived as living. signified in the "moon". My concern here is less with explaining their longevity and enduring appeal than with exploring some of the special political problems that arise from the fatal junction of the concept of nationality with the concept of culture and the affinities and affiliations which link the Blacks of the West to one of their adoptive. the moonlight should no longer be taken for granted.In his theme poem. The speaker and the moonlight as travellers run into each other.The conspicuous power of these modern subjectivities and the movements they articulated has been left behind. It is a poem of the mind and its relations to the external world. grown. There is some form of dialogue between the speaker and the moon. The description of the moonlight compels one's participation with the speaker: The passions gather with violent crackling and nothing can stop the animated fire. Although "Full Moon" is spoken by one person as he walks in the "woods" by moonlight. . In Chin Ce's poetic universe.
educational structures. a living void.G. were not schooled using textbooks reflecting their particular social and cultural situations. their identities had been stolen. the notion of identity is becoming increasingly complex. Taking off the mask in the postcolonial world does not necessarily reveal a full individual. the colonial power eradicated previous religions. Vassanji's elaborate novel depicts an international racketeering allowing some individuals like the protagonist. M. especially with an added complication of post-colonization. This tumultuous period contributed to a chaos that fed lawless activities. empty of meaning. This vacancy will be explored from the context of abuse of power. or had Western instructors. In the beginning of the text. Although the indigenous person adopted a Western identity through the colonizer. Their personal and cultural history had been destroyed as one of the implications of colonial rule. was not recognized by the colonizer. The novel begins with a confession: . The In-Between World of Vikram Lall. the mask of colonial identity covering the void is an illusion. In 1965 after Kenya assumed political independence and Jomo Kenyatta became president of the new nation. in all its complexity. Essentially the people became impostors of themselves. focuses on neocolonial imbalance and the elaborate postcolonial reappraisal of cultures. In the globalisation of today's society. To establish dominion. because the native culture. The enduring exploitation of formerly colonised nations has been defined using the term Neo-colonialism. covering fifty years of Kenyan history. The definition of one's self has become multi-layered and essentially fractured. but more specifically neocolonialism also implies a persistent state of confusion of selfhood for the individual and for the whole nation. Vassanji's novel. During colonization the people lived a kind of non-existence. an elaborate repositioning of the classes occurred. the native essentially never existed as a unique individual in the colonizer's eyes. the colonial erasure of cultural and personal identity appears to be permanent. The identity inflicted on the indigenous person was a meaningless stereotype masking the true identity that had become void. even their religions did not reflect their own indigenous religious history. Since the complex identity of the native was not acknowledged. Vassanji: The In-Between World of Vikram Lall The departure of the colonizing power forced the postcolonial world out of balance placing the formerly colonized nations into a new and continued version of dependence upon the West. Vik. This void is the denial of identity and a life with no meaning. and languages. the Kenyan people are on the lowest rung of the social ladder with whites and Indians in power.Full Text Available in Critical Supplement The Works of Chin Ce CS (A)1 Online Order:Add to Cart Bulk Order: Contact Publisher Creating Identity out of the Postcolonial Void by L Nesbitt IN THE LAST half of the twentieth century many postcolonial cultures have found themselves out of balance. The term implies a nation with a continued reliance upon the former imperial power and the West in general. Many individuals do not communicate in their indigenous language. it was an illusion. realigning individuals in Western nations with Kenyan politicians and private citizens in the extortion that harmed the Kenyan people yet again. We spend our lives constructing unique personal traits and individually recognizable selves created from different sources. to get very rich.
While Okonkwo. He is also a flawed character with some of his destruction being self-inflicted.. transported on the back of the oracle. a cheat of monstrous and reptilian cunning. the protagonist. his daughter. the initial occurrences of strikes against colonial authority. Things fall apart. Each text depicts a different stage of colonial power: the imposition of rule. several things fall apart with the imposition of colonial rule: a man's life. he is defined by his culture.. clan.. African . "Isaac" (Achebe 129). a book that artistically anatomizes the Nigerian society in its grossest sense in order to give the reader a proper understanding of that society. Ezinma. and the effects of colonization. To me has been attributed the emptying of a large part of my troubled country's treasury in recent years. For example several of Achebe's characters function as symbols. The novel is replete with symbolism emphasizing these notions. his tribe. his country. and Nigeria.. Yeats's notion that humans have created a dark and foreboding future with no connection between their own humanity and spirituality is implicit and explicit in Achebe's novel. religion. Yeats: Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer. he also symbolizes traditional Igbo society. I have the distinction of having been numbered one of Africa's most corrupt men. however. I head my country's List of Shame. and his rigid role in that clan. There is a loss of common purpose. the centre cannot hold.B. Achebe begins Things Fall Apart by quoting the first four lines of The Second Coming by W. On the one hand Okonkwo's resolute behaviour kills him and contributes to the fracturing of his tribe. Achebe: Things Fall Apart The colonising agents of education. Chielo. 3 Online Order: Add to Cart Bulk Order: Contact Publisher The Rhetoric of Despair in Chin Ce‟s Children of Koloko by O Okuyade Introduction THIS DISCOURSE is centred against the background of public attitudes and orientation towards military or democratic governance in Africa. is a complex character. symbolizes the future of the clan when she crawls into the cave and womb-like safety of Africa. he fears "being thought weak" and so strikes the fatal blow (Achebe 43). instability.My name is Vikram Lall. This blow destroys his family since it drives his son to the colonizer's religion where he is given a new self-identity. and language erase individuality and contribute to instability in the world in each of the following texts. Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.. Full Text Available in Journal of African Literature and Culture JALC Vol 1 No. From the late 1970s till date. In the first text. African literature is hardly discussed outside contemporary history from where it derives its pre-occupation. For example even though he is warned not to participate in the killing of his surrogate son. and great unrest in a world spinning out of control. It evinces the relationship between political and legal sovereignty in Chin Ce's Children of Koloko. (Vassanji 3) .
but the leadership factor underlies the literary substance of the novel.. doggedly to salvage the remaining stock. Ce lucidly cartographs the familiar anguish that surrounds the exclusion of African masses from the common wealth –the prodigal desire of their daily lives. "critics and chroniclers of shared experiences" (19). record his observations with poetic lyricism and dramatic immediacy. exile. mounting steadily.colonial nation states. so do their rulers progressively plunge them into poverty with the apparatus of power permanently confiscated for public subjugation. x-raying the entire continent with the people trapped in serious socio-economic crisis. It's always a busy day after rains … Soon I could find the workers busy doing the job. African writers are alert and alive to their responsibility not only as teachers but. Individual African writers have consistently testified to this fact in both their polemical utterances and literary creativity. According to Chidi Amuta: it is indisputable that national history and national social experience furnish a thematic quarry and an ideology imperative in the context of which African writers have been working. Among the people of Koloko we encounter an experience: an experience of a living world that is slowly dying. The narrative of Children of Koloko covers almost every aspect of life and governance. (62 63) To assess African literature more effectively. which in effect means the arrest. The book becomes a parable on the Nigerian situation where power is consolidated in a few hands and they run away with politics which is achieved by demagoguery and deceit. As the ruled continue to falter even within the marginal space where they are being held supine. but purposeful. Ce is able to enter imaginatively into the emotional streams of other characters and. as Oyeniyi Okunoye puts it. This is amply demonstrated in Yoyo's observation of how the ant community organize themselves. by the use of simple evocative words. In Josaphat Kubayada's words: Postcolonial dictatorship in Africa concerns itself with repression. they are all involved in the business of building the community from where they all eat: These creatures were great workaholics. critics must take into cognizance that this artistic vocation is a recreation of social realities and a critique of the African condition. Children of Koloko begins with what an ideal society should look like. Though the stories are told from the first person narrative perspective. or consistent harassment of dissident voices. Their home sands were neatly piled around the holes. Yoyo imagines a system that is inclusive. especially in the post-colonial period. They deposited. (3) . The problem of leadership hovers over everything in the narrative and hence becomes the source of societal tragedy. and. This outstanding element of style comes across in the lucid flow of language and the linearity of his plot narrative.literature continues to be inward looking. by these descriptions. execution. no high ups and no low downs. … others were scouting for alternative accommodation. They continue to appraise the ruling class thereby signposting the failures of post. The disenchantment with Africa's independences has made most African writers identify with the people's efforts to resist the rulers. . Said Khamis sees this as "characteristic of the third world but not completely absent in the developed world" (57).. appeal greatly to readers' senses thereby creating a sense of presence and immediacy in the story. (5) Rhetoric and Narrative in Children of Koloko Chin Ce's biggest asset in Children of Koloko is his ability to describe characters and scenes so vividly. The post colonial African terrain has been a turbulent geography since the 1960s when independence began to sweep through the continent. steadily. doggedly to salvage the remaining stock. hate and humiliation. I saw some of them wandering as if aimless. The general result of dictatorship is an atmosphere of fear.
private and public and the gods and mankind. After all. entitled Tègònni: an African Antigone (1994). Western educational systems. USA). such as that between woman and man. This paper will focus on Fémi Òsófisan's reworking of Antigone. whether or not African reworkings of Antigone should be considered counter-narratives to the Western canon is a question in need of closer investigation. Wetmore Jr. and forcefully imposed. It is set in Nigeria under British colonial rule. and one that will be discussed later. but on closer inspection reveals the intricate nature of the various oppositions it explores. The Choice of Antigone As Kevin J. It may seem strange that African playwrights would turn to texts that represent the classical Western canon. Greek tragedy originally came to colonial areas through imported. Sophocles' Antigone is a play that "can be adapted into any situation in which a group is oppressed. Fémi Òsófisan and Sylvain Bemba have given Antigone post-colonial relevance in a variety of 2 settings. It will first examine Òsófisan's decision to draw on Antigone within the context of Nigeria. the political implications of this translocation for Antigone's status as a Western canonical figure. or in which. Òsófisan's Tègònni: an African Antigone well fits this description. finally. while also referring to the military dictatorships that have held Nigeria in its grip almost incessantly ever since its independence from Britain in 1960. where Edward Kamau Brathwaite. Not only does this complexity make the conflict between both protagonists tragic to begin with. At the heart of the tragedy is the conflict between Antigone. In their seminal study on post-colonial drama. and in that sense could be seen to epitomise imperial Europe. 4 Online Order: Add to Cart Bulk Order: Contact Publisher Antigone as Revolutionary Muse. political consciousness" (1984 preface). Helen Gilbert and Joanne Tompkins clarify that it is precisely this enduring legacy of colonialist education that explains the "prominent endeavour among colonised writers/artists" to "rework the European „classics‟ in order to invest them with more local relevance and to divest them of their assumed authority/authenticity" (16). A great number of playwrights have revisited Sophocles' original. Athol Fugard. Tègònni was first produced in 1994 at Emory University in Atlanta (Georgia. Then. a conflict that appears straightforward. Antigone's appeal largely derives from this central conflict.Full Text Available in Journal of African Literature and Culture JALC No. which Òsófisan was visiting during one . in the aftermath of struggle. who has issued a decree forbidding this burial. Fémi Òsófisan's Tègònni: an African Antigone by A Van Weyenberg THE POPULARITY of Antigone within Western literature. Still. individual and state. art and thought has been discussed at length. the forces of community and social order come into conflict with the forces of personal liberty" (170-171). the (meta)theatrical aesthetics that characterise her cultural translocation and. literary. it will discuss Antigone's representative value within her "new" surroundings. explains in his study on African adpatations of Greek tragedy. and her uncle King Creon. but its contemporary popularity is particularly striking on the African stage. who sets out to bury her brother. most famously by George Steiner who classifies it as "one of the most enduring and canonic acts in the history of our philosophic. but it also ensures Antigone's continuing attraction as a source for philosophical and artistic inspiration.
In the production notes Òsófisan explains that Tègònni is intended to "look at the problem of political freedom against the background of the present turmoil in Nigeria –my country– where various military governments have continued for decades now to thwart the people's desire for democracy.. in each novel he observes society from a particular point of view. The above considerations help us to better appreciate Ime Ikiddeh's definition of a novel as "fiction based on an historical event recreated in human terms" (Ngugi.' Thomas Melone says that the content of literature ought to be judged as "a portion of his destiny" (T. 4 Online Order: Add to Cart Bulk Order: Contact Publisher The Child hero: A Comparative Study of Ngugi's Weep not. the Cameroonian critic says that every authentic literature should be a "carrier of humanity" ("porteuse d'humanite"). xii). More than any other form of literary criticism or appreciation. and that thereafter is he only repeating himself Far from it? The novelist is comparable to a surveyor. both are witnesses each in its own way to the same cracking society under the invasion of foreign culture. 1962.12). Nwokora IN HIS WORK on Chinua Achebe's novels. in comparing. It is possible to compare and contrast two or more writers from the same country. of Hamlet. an author can be compared to himself. and this "odyssey" reproduces. and finally. of Antigone. 1973. their identity is fundamental. . 12). One comes up with interesting findings.. following the military junta's violent intervention and annulment of the presidential elections of 1993. child and Oyono's Houseboy by L. unable to find his feet in his former home. whose field is the human society. i. even from the same family. with his destiny. The young graduate returning from England. The particular point of focus of the two authors we are studying is the child in his relation to given certain "historical events recreated in human terms" in two different countries and at nearly ten years' interval in time. and the village of Umuaro no longer thesame under sweeping religious attacks on the gods that had hitherto guaranteed its security and unity. whether it talks of Achilles. for example. "witness for man and his destiny". however. the Chinua Achebe of No Longer at Ease with the Achebe of Arrow of God. we should first of all ascertain why the two authors chose each a child to be his hero.e. Melone. "men are first of all men . Explaining his reasons. whether it be African or European. 1973. and their destiny human" (T. Does it mean that the celebrated Nigerian novelist has said everything when he published his famous Things Fall Apart. does not mean that one must necessarily compare authors from different countries or different cultural backgrounds. entitled „Chinua Achebe and the Tragedy of History .. Universality.of the most chaotic periods in Nigerian history. similar characteristics. comparative literature highlights this universality of even' creative literary art. The product of his artistic (here literary) creation is a "portion" of man's struggle with life. Melone. of Obi Okonkwo or Ezeulu. continues the critic. Full Text Available in Journal of African Literature and Culture JALC No. happiness. mutatis mutandis. Before comparing these historical events viewed as recreated fiction. from the same village.. since it should. and good government" (11). because.
. The poetic verse aims. as brutal to the psyche of individuals as it is to the state. By his age.the two novels being studied evoke rather the same bitter taste in the reader's mouth as Mongo Beti's Remember Ruben. And who likes to recall a nightmare? Except.if not a nightmare. at least in the cut and dry syllogism of the adult. therefore. and not at a logical understanding of the passage. they rather resemble the generation of those European children born in the late thirties. If nostalgia there was. were better felt than reasoned about. in the sense where the poetic state or condition may be interpreted to mean the ideal state of paradise lost. it is even truer of poetry than of any other form of creative writing. i. A Sigmund Freud would have summed up all I have said here above in one short phrase: that sort of childhood is just a "reve manque". and will only be very briefly dealt with here. Comparative Study of the Experiences of' Toundi. of course.e. Whereas prose may receive one clear interpretation or explanation.Why the Child as hero? Poetry is best appreciated. but by feeling. Full Text Available in African Literary Journal ALJ No. indifferent. at arousing these sentiments in the reader. when they bend over the creation of their Toundi and Njoroge respectively. his instinctive intransigence for purity and truth. of a novelist whose hero is a child could be the desire. perennially threatening . There are certain experiences in life which. do not apply to the two novels under consideration. These reasons already form the subject-mater of several commentaries on Oyono and Ngugi. or Ngugi's either. to travel back along the slippery steps to his lost Garden of Eden. We shall now examine and compare the nightmarish experiences of the two child heroes.. or rather that is not allowed to exist as it should. in order to retain one's mental health. The first aim.a model of which one reads in the Edenic memories recounted by the hero of The African Child. If it is true that a piece of literary work escapes its author once it is set down on paper.exactly as Louis Guilloux's 'Pain des Reves' does for the novelist from Brittany in Nazi-occupied France of 1942.2 Online Order: Add to Cart Bulk Order: Contact Publisher Violence and Oral Metaphors in Chin Ce's Gamji College by Devapriya Sanyal This reading will demonstrate in Ce's second published prose fiction true images of this postcolonial violence that has modern African states such as Nigeria in a vice grip – a postwar violence. While one could describe Camara Laye's African Child as an unbroken chaplet of one nostalgic childhood memory after another. Toundi and Njoroge belong to the generation of African children who never had any childhood . not by reasoning. and whose childhood was spent in concentration camps or in cities terrorised consistently by Nazi brutality. like that of Morzamba in Remember Ruben. it is rather for a childhood that never existed. and Njoroge Some of the points raised here above. by entering into the ecstatic sentiments of the poet at his moment of writing. no one interpretation can ever exhaust the wealth of meaning couched in a few poetic verses. about the artistic benefits of the child-hero. lonely and capitalist atmosphere of the French capital . and psychological make up. the child feels things and does not reason about them. nature. his openness to every instinct and desire his connivance with nature. The child's innocence. it would be almost impossible to imagine any atom of nostalgia in Oyono's mind. conscious or not. For while The African Child affords the Guinean undergraduate in Paris a salutary fight into fancy from the cold. are among the qualities that make Melone believes that the only poetic state is childhood. for some very serious reasons best known to the author.a lost dream . therefore.
the last section "The Gun" is a metaphor of violence and realpolitik as practised by Africa‟s modern political dictators and their teeming supporters. often claiming that a condition of grace is the former professor's ultimate destination. "the novel's title begins to refract meaning in a dozen directions" (20). characterization and language in a way that brings out the message in its glaring entirety. and how it envelopes his narrative. All are probable and real life portraiture of contemporary Nigerian society. Each of these sections is as separate from the other as the characters in the stories are different. quite similar to the author‟s first published work. While the second story “The Bottle" focuses on the lack of direction among the youths as seen in their drinking (inebriation) and wildness of manners. Children of Koloko. gives us added insight to the author's vision regarding the youths (college students) of his country represented by Gamji in the three stories.M. told through the viewpoint of three major characters. Here the author seems to suggest that the nation‟s Ivory tower is. The only link is that all the action happens in the college although at different times. Full Text Available in Journal of African Literature JAL No. the moment one begins to consider the nature of Lurie's (dis)grace. In their discussions of (dis)grace. The objective of this study is to look at the story-teller's conceptualisation of violence. Furthermore. its oral metaphors of violence are rendered in a manner that few recent fiction narratives in the African region have attempted. Thus while Gamji College in a larger artistic perspective may deal with the character of the nation states of Africa under the various civilian and military regimes that govern them in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries (Brown par 1). Fanaticism as Violence The metaphor of religious fanaticism is clearly noticeable from the first section entitled "The Cross”. Chin Ce's story of a metaphorical African-Nigerian nation (Gamji College) is divided into three sections entitled the "The Cross".5 Online Order: Add to Cart Bulk Order: Contact Publisher „Moderated Bliss‟: Coetzee's Disgrace as Existential Maturation By Erik Grayson ALTHOUGH J. With this arrangement. combined with Coetzee's deceptively simple prose. most critical literature written about Coetzee's novel attempts to identify and delineate a process by which the protagonist David Lurie lifts himself out of a state of disgrace. Disgrace has encouraged a range of equally convincing.to consume the national cultural and political ethos of the entire African region. interpretations. Yet. critics have viewed Lurie as a burgeoning Stoic. in a Nigerian parlance. yet widely divergent. commentators continue to struggle with what Gareth Cornwell calls "the fertile indirections of its narrative style" ("Disgraceland" 43. and an individual suffering from a lack or intimacy while positing that the novel depicts the attainment of grace through "secular humility" (Kissack and . “the cross” that it has to bear in a modern transitional society. Coetzee's Disgrace has garnered a great deal of critical attention in the six years since its publication.) Indeed. as Ron Charles observes. this collection of stories. a man threatened by emasculation. "The Bottle" and “The Gun".
his gradual acceptance of life's eventualities. divorced. Disgrace opens with Lurie thinking that "[f]or a man of his age. creative and existential self-actualization. In other words. as Michael Gorra observes. Furthermore. The first quarter of the novel. Thus. Lurie's strikingly powerful fixation on mortality not only girds the aforementioned readings. for him. Lurie admits to having developed "an affection" for Soraya that "[t]o some degree. sex is little more than a chore he must perform periodically. even on occasion unburdens himself. despite his apparent rejection of emotional attachment. 3 Online Order: Add to Cart Bulk Order: Contact Publisher Post-Colonial Literatures as Counter-Discourse: J. Lurie's relationship with a prostitute named Soraya only reveals the inadequacy of physical intimacy to satiate his hunger for emotional intimacy. rather than depict Lurie's tumble into disgrace as many commentators have suggested." he nevertheless longs for a different arrangement with Soraya (5). a home. then. solved the problem of sex rather well" (1). may be read as David Lurie's journey from estrangement to sexual. fifty-two. he has. Indeed. Coetzee's opening line only "tells us that David Lurie hasn't solved the problem at all" (7). he believes…is reciprocated" (2). to his mind. but may also explain the "odd kink in [the novel's] narrative structure. Disgrace. It is only after David Lurie acknowledges and internalises his own eventual mortality that he discovers anything akin to grace. Indeed. Thus." namely what "the first quarter of the story [has] to do with what follows" (Hynes 1). Coetzee's Foe and the Reworking of the Canon A Kehinde . the line reveals Lurie's acute awareness that ageing will only make solving the problem increasingly difficult. Rather than chart the fall and subsequent redemption of a "mighty" academic. we may infer that. (3) Full Text Available in Journal of African Literature and Culture JALC Vol 1 No. In fact. She knows the facts of his life. She has heard the stories of his two marriages. light and fleeting. a marriage" and that "[h]is needs turn out to be quite light after all. Lurie's sex life lacks the sort of emotional intimacy one would assume he enjoyed as a married man. She knows many of his opinions. who used to think he needed a wife. Tellingly. despite the novel's concern with states of (dis)grace. Yet.M. Since Lurie regards physical intimacy as a problem which must be solved as one would fill in a crossword puzzle or balance a budget. also marks a period of creative self-discovery during which Lurie finds his voice as he composes a comic opera "that will never be performed" (215). knows about his daughter and his daughter's ups and downs. the trajectory David Lurie's life takes during the course of the novel might be better understood as a process of existential maturation. Lurie's period of existential maturation. presents us with a man who has been isolated from. the world for some time already. Disgrace documents the end of David Lurie's reluctant acceptance of aging and mortality (Coetzee 167). However. Although Lurie claims "that ninety minutes a week of a woman's company are enough to make him happy. and disengaged with.Titlestad 135) and the struggle to remain human in an inhumane world. Lurie indulges his need to share his life with Soraya: During their sessions he speaks to her with a certain freedom. as Melanie Isaacs's father sardonically remarks.
civilization. of racial inferiority" (32). They recited their triumphs. Africans are misrepresented.Actually. Unfortunately. (91) Africa and Africans are given negative images in Western books of geography.Africa in Western Canons A century of European (British and French mainly. which supposedly buttress the liberal-democratic (bourgeois) states of Europe and North Africa (74). To them. the colonization of Africa is explicit in the physical domination and control of its vast geographical territory by the colonial world and its cronies. we learned their prejudices and their passions. bewildered and confused. more than the power of the cannon. Edward Wilmot Blyden asserted over a hundred years ago that: All our traditions and experiences are connected with a foreign race –we have no poetry but that of our taskmasters. which was the history of our degradation. are interested constructs of European representational narratives. In fact. Chinua Achebe declares that if he were God. far from being a disinterested account of Africa. novels. they are portrayed as caricatures. In secular aesthetics. Writing on the jaundiced portrayal of Africa/Africans in Western canonical works. as embodying the core values of a culture. In these texts and records. while it views the Third-World from the perspective of the antithesis of the positive qualities ascribed to itself. Colonialism is not satisfied merely with holding a people in its grip and emptying the native's brain of all form and content. It should also be stressed that the available records of Africa's history handed down by the Europeans. domination and control of Africa by the colonizer is sustained by a series or range of concepts implicitly constructed in the minds of the colonized. or ways of seeing. which encourages all the errors and falsehoods about Africa/Africans. the Western world equates knowledge. he would "regard as the very worst our acceptance. Dennis Walder asserts that the Western-associated canons of texts are dotted with a whole complex of conservative. authoritarian attitudes. Africans themselves are obliged to study such pernicious teachings. modernity. and thought we had their aspirations and their power. This is why modern African writers see the need for and admit a commitment to the restoration of African values. However. (225) Thus. travels. The songs which live in our ears and are often on our lips are the songs we heard sung by those who shouted while we groaned and lamented. They sang of their history. Italian and Spanish) colonization left behind an African continent dazed. provided by their own culture" (71). it turns to the past of the oppressed . By a kind perverted logic. Andrew Milner and Jeff Browitt dwell on the inscriptions of stereotypes of Africa/Africans in Western religious canonical texts (the Bible in particular). . but also Portuguese. Such negative stereotypes are perpetrated by a system of education. for whatever reason. this physical presence.. modernization. German. Therefore. He further comments that his role as a writer is that of an educator who seeks to help his society regain belief in itself and put away the complexes of the years of vilification and self-denigration. which contained the records of our humiliation.. In similar fashion. Reacting to this mistake. This view is supported by Ania Loomba : "the vast new world (Africa inclusive) encountered by European travelers were interpreted by them through ideological filters. literary and other texts accorded a privileged status. Homi Bhabha also declares that Western newspapers and quasi-scientific works are replete with a wide range of stereotypes (17). canonical texts are: those Christian religious texts considered divinely inspired by the Church. To our great misfortune. in expansion of Milner and Browitt. within some version or another of a 'great tradition'. history and in Hollywood films about the continent. progress and development to itself. it is canonical knowledge that establishes the power of the colonizer "I" over the colonized "Other" (Foucault 174).
to Charles Alobwed'Epie and John Nkemngong Nkengasong amongst others. Alobwed'Epie states that "in Cameroon usage. to designate people native to the S. storytelling. just the subject fashioned by Orientalism. The first method in this programme is a linguistic one. This work of devaluing pre-colonial history takes on a dialectical significance today. Moreover. constituting about one-fifth of the population and occupying less than one-tenth of the national territory. his manservant. which seek to consider. moreover. gender-conscious or ethnic perspectives on past events. Full Text Available in Journal of African Literature and Culture JALC No. the colonizer has created a new set of values for the African. The Anglophones in Cameroon are a minority. Consequently. One of the recurring themes as far as literary representations of memories are concerned is the complex interaction between memories and identities. and imagination to enact memory is enriching.W (Southwest) and N." He thus initiates Friday into the rites of English with a view to making him just an incipient bilingual subject. On his 'island'. 4 Online Order: Add to Cart Bulk Order: Contact Publisher Memory and Trauma in John Nkemngong Nkengasong's Across the Mongolo by SA Agbor THE STUDY focuses on the relationship between literature and memory and thus. as he uses his gun to save Friday from his captors (and to silently threaten Friday into obedience). the term is used to designate the opposite of Francophone on the one hand and. and the purposes of remembering (www. and distorts. biography.unigiessen. on the other. literary texts have engaged in a discussion of the implications. including Friday. Literature. Although fact is mixed with fiction.de).people. Crusoe gives Friday his new name without bothering to enquire about his real name. Memory and literature intersect in many different ways. He instructs Friday to call him "Master.W (Northwest) provinces" (49). Modern Cameroon is made up of Anglophones and Francophones because the nation was colonized by the British and French.He then begins a programme of imposing cultural imperialism. The founding principle of subjugation is force. Nkengasong's text educates and allows the reader to participate in the (re)creation and (re)interpretation of events and processes that form identity crisis and alienation in a nation. participates in the processes of shaping collective memories and of subversively undermining culturally dominant memories by establishing countermemories. the problems. the African has equally become a creation by the West. for example. The intimate relationship between literature and memory is particularly obvious in genres such as autobiography. The Anglophone problem is a historical reality in Cameroon and has had a profound influence on the literary imagination of many Anglophone writers from Bole Butake to Epie Ngome to Bate Besong. addresses a theme that over the last two decades has become one of the central issues in literary and cultural studies. Throughout literary history. (168) By distorting the history and culture of Africa. Literature is one of the media that plays a crucial role in the process of representing and constructing both individual and collective memories. disfigures and destroys it. or fictional biography. Crusoe attempts to subjugate all of nature. Across the Mongolo is relevant in the information it coveys and functions as historical data and as an avenue through which nationhood and . the manner in which Nkengasong manipulates characterization.
4 Online Order: Add to Cart Bulk Order: Contact Publisher The Feminist Impulse of Lucy Dlamini (The Amaryllis) and Sembene Ousmane (God‟s bits of Wood) by FI Mogu SINCE the advent of time and civilization. In The Sexual Mountain and Black Women Writers Adventures in Sex.” she opines that: What we have to recognise is that the creation of the fiction of tradition is a matter of power. The argument here begins with this recognition. It is in this wise that we refer to the Anglophone Cameroonian as the "other other". egalitarian. trauma.bilingualism in Cameroon are conceived. she reasons that this scenario cannot continue since it is lopsided and punitive of women. we contend. Full Text Available in Journal of African Literature and Culture JALC No. and economic trends of the Cameroon nation. However. This study aims to explore various facets of the intimate and complex relationship between literature and memory from different vantage points in Nkengasong's Across the Mongolo. May Helen Washington. account for women's absence from our written records (Gates 32). is as central to Across the Mongolo as neocolonization. Women are the disinherited…. not justice. The primary importance of Across the Mongolo is exemplified in its vivid representation of the anguish and victimization of the "other other" in a struggle against alienation and a search for identity. and history. Alienation. Secondly. and that power has always been in the hands of men mostly white but some black. Literature and Real Life. nonsex biased society which accords similar rights and privileges to its male and female members alike. cultural. particularly when citizens are forced to choose between personal autonomy and identity. political. Of relevance to this study are the questions: in what way is Across the Mongolo a cultural and political memory? How does this literary representation of socio-cultural and political realities act as an individual and collective memory of pertinent issues related to identity and trauma in the Cameroonian society? What are the implications of this memory and what knowledge does the reader get from this novel? Our hypothesis is that Across the Mongolo is a representation of memories and conflicting identity in the Cameroonian society. Those differences and the assumption that those differences make women inherently inferior. Calvin C. through his creative imagination Nkengasong reveals the tension and predicament of a minority in the nation. females have confronted what they perceive to be the male domination of affairs in the human society. According to the African-American feminist critic. plus the appropriation by men of the power to define tradition. His creative imagination is influenced by a multiplicity of social. In her essay. It intersects with Nkengasong's creative springboard. “The Darkened Eye Restored: Notes Towards a Literary History of Black Women. Hernton supports Washington's views and proceeds to show clearly that the . She argues for a fairer. This essay hopes to show that the subject of the Anglophone problem has indeed inspired a range of reflections on the notion of memory. all facets of the society must conform to the male order before they are adjudged to be correct.
the events unfold over a vast canvass or landscape. which threatens their efforts. Dlamini's The Amaryllis is set in Swaziland in the late 1960s and early 1970s. key activities occur within selected locations in the two texts such as Dakar. is set in the late 1940s largely in Mali and Senegal.male domination of all aspects of life in the society still exists. Whereas the heroine in Dlamini's novel is Tana. and sweet scented. Viewed against the backdrop of her culture. peoples and cultures. The book therefore recalls works such as Felix Mnthali's Yoranivyoto and manifests affinity with God's Bits of Wood in the sense that. In God's Bits of Wood as in The Amaryllis. These settlements were occasioned by the quest for wage employment at this period in the history of Swaziland. Initially. The Amaryllis equally celebrates the establishment of the University of Swaziland fondly referred to as “Mvasi” and the warm reception accorded it by the Swazi nation. territories. accord the story some verisimilitude. as events unfold. Manzini and the University of Swaziland premises at Kwaluseni. women begin to emerge from behind the veil of male-based culture to voice their needs and concerns. The central point however in the two works is the emergence of the heroes and heroines who actively champion the cause of the ordinary downtrodden people in the society. credible and incredible events. Put simply. Guma. pink-coloured. Botswana. but rare flower that grows from a bulbous plant found usually in semi-arid areas. Lucy Dlamini's novel is about Tana Tanethu and other members of the Mdluli family in their quest to build a strong. He reasons that “the complexity and vitality of black female experience have fundamentally been ignored” and that. In the course of the march and in the entire process of the strike. It is essentially about the strike action embarked upon by African workers on the Dakar-Niger Railway Line which spanned thousands of kilometres across different time zones. Bamako. in Ousmane's book it is Penda and a host of other women who ensured the success of the worker's strike embarked upon by their male folk.M. we are looking at . The canvass in Ousmane's work is wider and larger that that in Dlamini's book. “black male writing has been systematically discriminating against women” (Hernton 39). economically sound and united family amidst the social chaos and decay of moral values in the Logoba / Mhobodleni / Ka Khoza area resulting from the rural to urban migration and the mushrooming of squatter settlements. Penda led the African women on a long. The situation referred to by Washington and Hernton reveals itself in the societies projected by Lucy Dlamini and Sembene Ousmane in Swaziland and the French speaking regions of West Africa respectively. In this case. men begin to take them serious and to contend with their yearnings and aspirations. she was assisted and envisioned by other women like Dieynaba. the novel is a mixture of fact and fiction. Ousmane's God's Bits of Wood on the other hand. Like in the African-American setting. two prominent regions in the former French West Africa. and Lesotho. as Ousmane's novel recalls and celebrates the 1947/48 Workers' strike the Dakar Niger Railway Strike which outcome uplifted African workers and restored some of their dignity which had been denied them by the French Colonizers. Historical figures such as the late King Sobhuza II and Professor S. Thie`s. However. arduous protest march to Dakar the French colonial Capital. Thus. Conversely. “God's bits of wood” means 'children of God the Creator' (Ousmane 62). they are taken for granted. Ramatoulaye and even the little Ad'jibd'ji and the blind Maimouna. the heroine of the story appears to be rebelling against the status quo. we witness a young woman making choices and determining her future. It also forays into neighbouring countries like South Africa. The title of her novel recalls a beautiful. In the Amaryllis.
' The choice of a middle alternative is imperative from the flagellation of the other extremities but it is a lonely route that marks a separation from friends.ordinary women who through dogged determination. 'The curse of the triangle' is another slavery which the new government portends for the generality of the Nigerian people. Chin Ce‟s writings trace a movement in the major characters from one of social preoccupation to that of psychological transition in awareness and growth. Before the choice is made. we must face ourselves. Dickie and Buff. Yoyo represents this third factor and his separation from his two friends.. Full Text Available in Journal of African Literature and Culture JALC Vol 1 No. 'A Farewell' (AE) highlights this movement in a prefatory manner. an important element in Chin Ce's oeuvres. The evidence of internal social contradictions and ungainly stirring in the form of political upheavals within the continent naturally justifies the cynicism with which a poet and writer like Chin Ce would draw us to the centre of the African pedagogy. and actions represented in 'only our own graffiti. a situation that Chin Ce forewarns in his second fiction Gamji College. progress is sure even if the social outcome of this progress in political and social discourse may be uncertain. 2 2005 Online Order: Add to Cart Bulk Order: Contact Publisher Memory. . Seen together as one movement. Its impact on the younger generations to come is being witnessed in contemporary politics of attrition and dislocation of previously honoured traditional values. In Children of Koloko. commitment and discipline emerge as leaders and spokespersons of their various groups. Transition and Dialogue: The Cyclic Order of Chin Ce‟s Oeuvres By A Grants Beginning with An African Eclipse (2000) Chin Ce‟s oeuvres foreshadow a general communal retardation most poignant in the Koloko and Gamji fictions. finally marks his attainment of growth as we shall see later. and life ways. Chin Ce's delineated 'eclipse' is therefore of a postcolonial transition that can only be determined by the quality of both leadership and citizenship in contemporary African republics. our fears. 3 Online Order: Add to Cart Bulk Order: Contact Publisher . Ce's cynicism has been justified in the society-evident lack of direction that rated that country one of the most corrupt nations on earth under the government of Olusegun Obasanjo. right and middle signify three choices involving two extremes and a middle course. old values. 'May 29 1999'. a historical poem on the inauguration of Nigeria's last democracy confronts us with the grotesque physical paunch and slovenliness of Nigeria's new civilian leadership which combine with poetic epithets to forecast political disaster. With the choice enacted in full awareness of the sense of alienation engendered. It is the fraud of nation building which Africa‟s postcolonial founding fathers had mistaken for patriotism. Full Text Available in African Literary Journal ALJ Vol 1 No. The three ways: left.
Ce's cutting overview of State thinking presents a scathing indictment of a leadership that demonstrates a complete inability to empathise with. Given the context of a succession of corrupt civilian and military administrations. the experience of being a modern Nigerian. An African Eclipse. which results in the social blight of self-interest and selfimportance and claims of billions of dollars in oil revenues siphoned from the Nigerian economy by some Nigerian leaders and their families. Taken in concert. However. Gilles Deleuze laments 'the sadness of generations without teachers' (77). to the challenge of personal example which are the hallmarks of true leadership' (1). For Ce. this simply cannot be said of the post-independence Nigerian political leaderships. this paper argues that Ce's An African Eclipse conceptualises a non-personal force of Life that not only conditions a revolutionary way of being for its readers but also functions as an ethical principle that has the potential to become the antidote to the diseased morality of Nigeria's political leaders. Indeed. are those who find 'ways of thinking that correspond to our modernity'. in Ce's essay 'Bards and Tyrants' one can trace the inability of the political leadership to form an appreciation of other Nigerians to a failure of thinking itself. the political emphasis of Ce's An African Eclipse ensures that the collection is not without (many) examples of the impoverished condition of what one might call 'State thinking'. is clearly concerned with the ethical and moral transgressions of Nigeria's political leaders in its postindependence years. But the concept of a teacher to the nation goes further than simply setting a good example for others to follow. That is to say. our teachers are those people who can find ways of thinking that are not antiquated or antithetical to our present situation – those that are mindful of our 'difficulties as well as our vague enthusiasms' that we experience in life (77). It is a sentiment that finds its conceptual correlate in the frustration that characterises Chinua Achebe's criticism of post-independence Nigerian leadership. So. 'The Nigerian problem'. 'Our teachers'. Achebe's frustration with the inability of Nigeria's leading political figures to assume the role of teacher to the nation seems entirely merited. and he writes of the willingness of the politicians to hide rather than disclose and resolve social problems and injustices. he writes of the rampant egoism of Nigeria's political leaders in 'African Eclipse'. 3 . one would like to demonstrate here how Ce's poetry offers something more profound than a simple sketch of the various past injustices inflicted on a largely poor Nigerian population by both civilian and military leaders following the official end of British colonial governance. Linked to his discussion of the degeneration of the integrity of the Nigerian university system. Deleuze continues. in the poems of 'The Second Reptile' and 'The Champ'. Indeed. In a little-known article on the work of Jean-Paul Sartre. and Niyi Osundare – Chin Ce's collection of poetry. and react to. 'is the unwillingness or inability of its leaders to rise to the responsibility.Beyond Subjectificatory Structures: Chin Ce 'In the season of another life' by GAR Hamilton LIKE the works of many other politically-conscious Nigerian poets –such as Ada Ugah. Ce reasons that the inadequacy of State thinking is due to the failure of Nigeria's political class to engage in deep personal thought at the hands of a 'liberating' literature: Full Text Available in African Journal of New Poetry NP. Odia Ofeimun. Yet. Achebe writes. Ce writes of the profligacy of political administrations and the manner in which such recklessness and wastefulness is learned and repeated by the Nigerian everyman in the damning social commentary of 'Prodigal Drums'.
Rather than recusing such influence. conceptions of time. Couto has always demonstrated an awareness of Portuguese and. He disrupts the paradigms of Western orthodoxy as he fashions identity by turning European epistemology into a raw. more generally. That resistance is frequently accompanied by a sense of loss. (28) Most of the characters in Couto's writings seem to be living in the colonial or postcolonial present sincethere are many implicit or explicit references to those historical timeframes. the side less touched by Western cultural values. even if often we do not know how to regain that connection due to the general fragmentation and spiritual alienation that tends to pervade our rationally ordered modern societies. nature and the universe at large are connected in deep ways and often not perceived as separate entities. Yet we often sense a strong resistance to those historical realities on the part of the characters. He can justifiably be termed a postmodern nationalist. and challenges the rigidity of the systems. he understands and then distorts it. as well as animistic and holistic perceptions of life. repackageable material. The characters of the stories are often people who live in rural areas. Some similarities that exist between African traditional worldviews (epistemologies) and other worldviews such as Western psychoanalysis and Buddhism. which in fact constitute the vast majority of Mozambique's citizens. different cosmogonies. logically completes the postmodern and the nationalist strands in his work. particularly those frontiers that enforce the demarcations of Western tradition. orature. In the latter phase of his writing. (28) Rothwell further avers that Couto's propensity to dissolve boundaries is apparent. less touched by the colonization and post-colonization processes: the endogenic/internal (or choric/coric) side of Mozambican cultures. a . This suggests that Couto is interested in displaying the rural side of Mozambique. As David Rothwell notes. imported from Europe that have dominated Mozambique for most of its history.Online Order: Add to Cart Bulk Order: Contact Publisher Mia Couto and the Holistic Choric Self: Recreating the Broken Cosmic Order (Or: Relearning the Song that Truly Speaks…) by I Marques TWO STORIES from Mia Couto's collection Contos do Nascer da Terra (Stories of the Birth of the Land) published in 1997 "The Little Girl Without Words: Second Story For Rita" and "The Little Moon-bird: First Story For Rita. the inter-relation between the world of the living and the world of the dead. through an attack on the International Community's invasion of Mozambican sovereignty. could point to the idea that we might all have more in common than we think.We all seem to yearn for the connection with our choric/holistic self. or people who do not adhere completely to and show resistance towards the assimilation of Western cultural values brought about by both the colonization and post-colonization processes. The resultant identity he writes is premised on fluidity. his disavowal of the postmodern project. Western influence on his work. where humans. both colonial and Marxist. Couto's stories are generally characterized by a great emphasis on the traditional pre-colonial African ways of life and epistemologies: myth." demonstrate how the Mozambican contemporary writer recreates the traditional African holistic (choric/animistic) 'self' via the use of innovative language and narrative techniques –a self that has been overshadowed by both the colonial and postcolonial orders.
the only redemptive alternative being the rejection of Europe‟s Trojan gift of civilisation. which suggest that the characters live in a time of deep cultural crisis. Naipaul‟s Biswas and Mongo Beti‟s Medza by GMT Emezue Introduction: Colonisation and Alienation IT COULD NOT have been too obvious to Christopher Columbus that his discovery of the Bahamas late in the fifteenth century would mark the formative stage of modern Caribbean history and culminate in a new landscape mired in conflicts and controversy. What had led early historians to assert ironically that the Caribbean is merely a geographical expression that lacks a noteworthy history and Africa a land of poverty and disease can be found at the centre of this historical movement of cross racial encounters. H. social and economic fronts. This feeling might be similar to what the anthropologist W. It is not the rising of the sun that we need. Stanner calls "a kind of vertigo in living" (qtd. In a bid to become African Frenchmen the new product of colonial education was made and encouraged . If This Is 80) felt by the Aborigines of New Guinea. as a result of land displacement and cultural impositions brought about by the colonization process. On the individual plank. For instance. The world needs to be seen under another light: the moonlight. Colonial intrusions in Africa and other parts of the New World laid the seeds of more sophisticated tribal rivalries and conflicts at so-called independence. Only the moon reveals the intimacy of our terrestrial dwelling-place. French policy at best succeeded in the creation of a hybrid African whose destiny was failure in all political. Couto places the following message in his introduction to Stories of the Birth of the Land: It is not the light of the sun that we lack. the Assimilation policy of the colonial French government in West Africa left a record of exploitation and dependency syndrome that put Africa‟s economy perpetually on the receiving end. Ditto for the Lander brothers whom Europe credits with the discovery of the Niger River. We lack the birth of the land. Only the moonlight reveals the feminine side of beings. one of nature's bounteous endowments on the African continent which existed and had been known to the natives long before his time. For millions of years the big star has been illuminating the earth and despite that we have not really learned how to see.S.' (Full Moon 6) Most of contemporary critical opinion about the West Indies is likewise connected with the colonial attitude toward Africa and endures in the general dilemmas of post colonial African states that emerged in the 20th century from crude amalgamations by their colonial founding masters. It boils down to the history of colonial men who leave their shores searching for fortune –as an African poet would put it– „in the hearts of distant lands. in Chamberlin. that clarity that falls with respect and tenderness.feeling of nostalgia or a confusion (an existential nausea of sorts). (7) Full Text Available in Journal of African Literature and Culture JALC No. in a society that is robbing them of what they value most and what their ancestors have believed for thousands of years. 4 Online Order: Add to Cart Bulk Order: Contact Publisher Failed Heroes and Failed Memories: Between the alternatives of V. E.
sugar and slaves accelerated their greedy forage in these territories. would denounce colonisation and the effects it had on traditional societies (ASC 1. Even some parts of the physical environment itself were imported: domestic animals. The nineteenth. Western powers fought to obtain a considerable share of Caribbean wealth and this gave rise naturally to piracy. This alienated attitude of self derision became part of the enduring notions of the westernised African.and twentieth-century Africa saw British and French interests formed around oppositions that forever impacted negatively on the continent's political development. Symptoms of exploitation and retardation of the colonies abound throughout the African region. The mineral and agricultural resources of the area served for personal benefits and for the development of Spain. So in practice these products of the colonialist experiment were neither Frenchmen nor eventually fully Africans. Full Text Available in Journal of African Literature and Culture JALC Vol 1 No. This idea of re-making the native was the height of cultural imperialism. Britain and the Netherlands. The writer's vision of history and the impact of his assessment.to turn his back on his traditional values. double-dealings and lack of cohesion among them (King 6-7). Portugal. Britain on her part continued with her Divide-and-Rule policy to wreak havoc in the culturally diverse West African polities even after independence. On the continental level African states after the imperial adventure became mere geographical curvatures that satisfied the predatory instincts of the west whose only morality had always been the force of the cudgel and their control of the instruments of propaganda and thought. if borne from a continuing tradition of self analysis is the subject of this critical assessment bearing in mind the power of the creative medium of literature in developing and refashioning a credible response of people to history and experience. cereals. In their reassessment of the French heritage some of the foremost writers of Africa's independence generation and products of the colonial experiment such as Mongo Beti. vegetables. 3 Online Order: Add to Cart Bulk Order: Contact Publisher Ngugi‟s Marxist Aesthetics A Philosophical Re-Imaging of Petals of Blood Okolo by MSC .) Like its African counterpart modern West Indian society must be traced to the circumstances of its discovery and the ensuing exploitation of its human and economic resources. the lure of gold. For these colonial nations. The colonial imperative of producing Frenchmen out of black men presupposed that the native cultures were of an aberrant tradition as against the assumed superiority of the colonial power which by the way is the power of brigandage and continued exploitation and impoverishment of the weaker. Of significance in this study is the West Indian (VS Naipaul) and African (Mongo Beti) novelists‟ response to the consequences of the colonial encounter through the memories of their characters and the development of the post colonial dialogue in the minds and thoughts of individuals who are representatives of particular cultural and historical stages of growth and transformation. fruits and sugar cane brought by the colonists. In French West Africa the Assimilation policy had tried unsuccessfully to make French citizens of educated Africans.
however. 'they bring about the reproduction. such as engendered by capitalism. This way ideas contained in literature can influence peoples' perception about politics and the best means of effecting a political change.' Ngugi's (Marxist) Aesthetics The central sense Marx understood aesthetics. assert that the ruling ideas of each age have ever been the ideas of its ruling class. it aims at transforming a given society.' Marxist aesthetics is in agreement with the latter. the point. who sees . precedes consciousness. and that of human struggle for total liberation. the degree of interaction Marx allowed between them suggests that the superstructure can influence the development of a society. and naked. is to change it. In a class society. which ultimately plays a decisive role in the political and ideological struggles in the society. Marxism is surely teleological.' Marx and Engels (51). All the same.' This change can only occur by transforming the mode of production of material life. beliefs. According to Ngugi (38). indeed. he cannot be neutral. it seems. 'From the standpoint of the revolutionary.Marxist Aesthetics: THE core of Marxism can be located in the primacy of matter over mind. For Marx and Engels. He can through his work offer critical appraisal of the existing political situation and this way can mould or redirect his society's actions. applies to Ngugi (96). Balibar and Macherey (3) observe that 'class struggle is not abolished in the literary text and the literary effects which it produces'. unsheltered. the struggle between the owning but nonworking capitalist class and the working but non-owning proletariat class can only be resolved through political revolution. the law is unlikely to be reflective of the interests of the underprivileged. he cannot be separated from its antagonistic class relationship. According to Marx (30) 'the philosophers have only interpreted the world. where a dominant economic class ends up with determinate political and economic influence in all spheres of the society. The most desirable social condition will emerge when the state withers away and communism is instituted. political revolution is the only workable means of bringing about a change in a class exploitative society. A person who is hungry. Man's material well-being determines the degree he can take part in other activities. While the economic is the most crucial factor determining every relationship. A Marxist aesthetics offers a choice for a particular artistic production over another. clearly. rather. it is the economic that governs and defines the basis of every relationship. His primary concern will be to meet his basic needs. It helps in the evaluation of economic relations. No doubt. In a class society. In the 'Manifesto of the Communist Party' Marx and Engels (1968:51) aver that man's consciousness changes with every change in the conditions of his material existence in his social relations and in his social life. ideals. in various ways. Since a writer lives in a given environment and belongs to a class. also. although it is the base that determines the superstructure. as dominant of the ideology of the dominant class. there have been two opposing aesthetics in literature. will hardly have time to engage in any extra-economic venture. apart from being a liability for the society. values. then. for Marx and Engels. which alone determines the general character of other processes of life. and ideas. 'the aesthetic of oppression and exploitation and of acquiescence with imperialism. Equally given that a writer is a member of the society. A Marxist aesthetics.' so says Omafume Onoge (44) 'the political criterion of excellent art is art which serves the struggle of the people against their oppression. literary and artistic developments are determined by the mode of production of material life the economic structure which ultimately always asserts itself on all other activities. helps to show that it is within the province of art to portray the possibility of men to struggle against all obstacles. Existence.
like the English Romantic poet. For literature to be meaningful it has to assume a revolutionary stance. Literature cannot stand apart from the social processes taking place in the society. Every literature is a commitment to a particular political ideology and every writer is a writer in politics (Ngugi xii). its goal must be to transform a given society. 1942 in Affa. William Blake. which can bring about a more equitable change in human relations. Its focus must be on a critical appraisal of the economic structure of modern society. Marxist oriented literature is the aesthetic viable for the future and the only literature worth producing by the writer. literature is teleological. Literature is part of the class power structures that shape our everyday life (Ngugi. is to act as a vehicle of liberation from European imperialistic capitalism. New York. To carry out this task. Some of his poems. exposing the distorted values integral to capitalist exploitative system and the struggle against exploitation in a class society. He earned his masters and doctoral degrees from Columbia University. In Ngugi's summation. at least for the African writer. a writer has to be sensitive to the class nature of the society and its influence on the imagination. Today. A writer's works invariably reflect the various struggles political. ideological. especially. which has placed the West at the core and Africa and the third world at the periphery in economic and social relations. the African writer must shun 'abstract notions of justice and peace' and actively support the 'actual struggle of the African peoples' and in his writing reflect 'the struggle of the African working class and its peasant class allies for the total liberation of their labour power' which alone provides the foundation for a socialist transformation of the society (Ngugi 80). For this. In this sense.' The writer's primary responsibility in Ngugi's view is to channel his creative energy towards the production of the aesthetic devoted to the fight for freedom. particularly . Its thoroughly social character makes it partisan. Truly. Ngugi's ideal is for a literature that is committed. Enugu State of Nigeria. His competence in these several professions bears on his works. musician and novelist. His international reputation is primarily as a poet. his works are published in several local and international academic journals and books. and economic going on in the society. Full Text Available in African Literary Journal ALJ Vol 1 No. cultural. 2 2005 Online Order: Add to Cart Bulk Order: Contact Publisher Broken Humanity: The Poetry of Osmond Ossie Enekwe by FO Orabueze Introduction OSMOND OSSIE Enekwe was born on 12th November. the essential task of literature. He graduated from the University of Nigeria in 1971 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Ossie Enekwe. assertive. director. confrontational. literature takes sides especially in a class society (Ngugi 6). which is essential in getting a revolution going. He is a scholar and a prolific writer whose teaching experience spans several universities in two continents: America and Africa.literature as 'a reflection of the material reality under which we live. in the unbalanced relationship between the West and Africa and other third world countries. was apprenticed to an artist but his longing for education propelled him to abandon that career for education. It is only a revolution that can restore to Africa and its people the self-image and confidence necessary for the radical transformation of society. but he is also a theatre scholar. especially on his poems. xii).
which was foretold in Broken Pots. In Broken Pots. he advocates that the chains of bondage. However. feeling. he believes that the cycle of doom of broken humanity can stop if there could be unadulterated love and friendship. Through love for truth and beauty. He bemoans also the physical and spiritual wasteland. Marching to Kilimanjaro. kill and main as long as he benefits from his actions. the poems are essentially those of social and economic criticisms or protest. Enekwe believes that this latent selfishness in man explodes into a destructive force because of the physical and psychological trauma and the physical and psychological alienation he is subjected to as a result of wars. It is only through this violence-free revolution that they can create an egalitarian society where all men will live in peace and love. Like a prophet. Ossie Enekwe cannot be seen solely as a pessimistic poet. we will give this rage the firmness and potency of rockets and bazookas. the pointlessness and the human suffering. The poems in Broken Pots are the lamentations of the poet on broken humanity. He satirizes the actions of visionless. he also gives out rays of light and hope at the dark and dangerous tunnel of life in which man is a wayfarer. servitude. degradation. In the new order. streaking fast against the assumed permanence of injustice.those in his recent collection of poems. The poet espouses in "Situation Report": But through knowledge. These ideas run through all his works. His vision is in line with the theory of the English political philosopher. In Broken Pots. The poet agrees with Richard Wright in his inspiring novel. His other poems in Marching to Kilimanjaro will be examined in this essay since that collection constitutes a second category of his poems. humiliation. and replaced by a new gauge of violence and destruction. "The Tyger" (Songs of Experience) that it is only through the power of knowledge that comes from education 'burning bright/in the forests of the night' that broken humanity can break the dams of inequality and injustice. Black Boy. 'love for truth and beauty'. steal. which are consequences of wars. Thomas Hobbes in Leviathan where he postulates that man is essentially selfish. insensitive and parasitic leaders who feed on the people's flesh and blood. he presents vividly the physical and spiritual wasteland that comes before and after a war with its resultant human and material wastage. human values are lost. we will create the world where the hawk and the eagle can perch. intellection and work. He points out to humanity the glaring. hope. and William Blake in the poem. The psycho-neurotic man can do anything: lie. Enekwe's poems generally may be categorized into two. man-made chasm that separates the two classes of humanity: the haves and the have-nots. 'work'. His former yardstick for the measurement of achievement and heroism has been eroded by wars. are already in Tijan Sallah's New Poets of West Africa. emotion. none displacing the other. And in Marching to Kilimanjaro. Full Text Available in . 'intellection'. the poet still laments the birth of the man of violence and bloodbath. aspiration and dream. which separate the mighty from the weak. The rich have so much to eat and drink that they grow 'flatulent' while the poor go through excruciating poverty that their 'drunken bones shrivel'. suppression and injustice must be broken by a bloodless revolution. where the 'rockets' and 'bazookas' fired to be replaced with new weapons: 'knowledge'. he warns humanity about his vision of a new world order where violence and destruction will take the center stage because of man's loss of vision. In this category. and man becomes a wolf to fellow men. cheat.
who have so earnestly belaboured such themes in volumes of criticism. is most often infatuated with the playwright's abstruse incorporation of ritual. The resentment is against Moore's use of the expression "least substantial" to obliterate the latter work. When approached from Carl Gustav Jung's "collective unconscious myths". Clyde Kluckhohn in particular. in his article "Recurrent Themes in Myths and Mythmaking" is quite explicit about certain features of mythology that are apparently universal or that have such wide distribution in space and time that result from recurrent reactions of the human psyche to situations and stimuli of the same general order (46). He justifies this with the claim that the play offers "none of the extra devices that Soyinka usually employs to enrich his dramatic texture. myth lore and idiom in his works. if the supposed rich texture in plays like Soyinka's A Dance of the Forests and The Strong Breed offer more for thought than some of his "simpler" plays like The Swamp Dwellers. Northrop Frye's and Clyde Kluckhohn's postulations one understands myths to be recurrent patterns of beliefs and spiritual concepts in Literature and human history. and the Theatre of Desolate Reality by JN Nkengasong IT IS OFTEN asserted that African Literature was born in the cradle of adversity as an instrument of protest against colonial exploitation and cultural domination. This. Wole Soyinka. However. This is certainly misleading because the quest for works which offer the "extra devices" may lead to the obliteration of works which although do not possess these devices may echo more important universal concerns which The Swamp Dwellers does. is not objectionable. This is the tendency with Ulli Beier and Gerald Moore. 2 Online Order: Add to Cart Bulk Order: Contact Publisher Samuel Beckett. he is compelled to dismiss arguments by critics . for example. Maud Bodkin's. the tendency in critical thinking is also always to associate the artistic excellence of a writer with the influence of another major writer before him. the slavish search for norms reflecting rudimentary African life. ranging from verse and song. dealing with themes. eminent connoisseurs of Soyinka's creative art. obliterating the fact that the human consciousness is a residual of archetypal patterns experienced in different epochs and in different geographical spheres. to dance. It is however questionable. sought to incorporate indigenous African values in their works to the effect that critics of African descent and some foreign scholars find interest mainly in works which treat such subject matter. experiences and situations. masquerade and pantomime" (16). thought and culture in the varied works of African authors might have serious setbacks. When one reads the plays of Samuel Beckett and Wole Soyinka against the background of the presumptions of myth criticism cited above. which cut across cultural and geographical boundaries. Good examples of archetypal patterns in literature are found in myths. From another perspective. the main one being the disregard for some masterpieces which might not after all lay stress on the desired tastes of indigenous African customs. This was in a bid to enforce African nationalism and to protect African culture from being completely obliterated by the overriding Western cultures. The critic of Soyinka. Writers on the continent and in the Diaspora therefore.New [Nigerian] Poetry Journal Journal No. a priori.
and these will authenticate and provide clinical support for Vera's representation of trauma in both Nehanda and The Stone Virgins. fosters an environment in which peoples who were first assaulted by European colonial forces suffer a second even more difficult betrayal trauma from the most unexpected source: fellow indigenous people working under the banner of Zimbabwean Nationalism. In doing so. the second betrayal seems to alienate and to obliterate their basic belief in and practice of hunhu. trauma theory and the concept of witness or testimonio literature will be used to explore the paradigm of double traumatization of the character Sibaso and its consequences for Zimbabwean civil society. she highlights the relevance of trauma theory and the decline of postcolonial Zimbabwean nationalism to her novels which opens narrative space for formerly marginalized voices from the liberation struggle and exposes the lies ingrained in the nationalist meta-narrative that these novels strive to counter. Thus. His characters are gripped by the same hopelessness in which Beckett's characters find themselves" (15). Full Text Available in Journal of African Literature and Culture JALC Vol 1 No. Full Text Available in Journal of African Literature . combined with a post-independence decline in nationalism. 3 Online Order: Add to Cart Bulk Order: Contact Publisher The Narratives of a Twice-Betrayed People: Double Traumatization and the Decline of Nationalism in Yvonne Vera's Novel The Stone Virgins by Marlene de la Cruz-Guzmán YVONNE Vera designs her last novel The Stone Virgins (2002) as a counter-narrative to her overtly pro-nationalist novel Nehanda (1993). arguably the least logical choice in the novel of an author who strives to provide a voice for marginalized women. This psychic shift is an additional detrimental side effect of the assaults which is particularly relevant in an analysis of the character of Sibaso.like Chinweizu et al that Soyinka is one of those "euromodernists. It is here asserted that the indigenous Zimbabwean populations to whom Vera gives voice in her literary works have experienced a double traumatization that. creates the problem of determining the degree of the latter's artistic originality. but it is this very illogicality that renders this study able to draw a more thorough analysis of the double traumatization experienced by all the testimonio-providing characters. or of Catherine O. The theoretical paradigm of double traumatization in relation to postcolonial texts allows this article to open a new space for the analysis of previously marginalized voices that are now being acknowledged and validated in the process of clarifying that their experiences stem from two separate but intertwined assaults on their existence. who have assiduously aped" the modes of the 20 century European writers (163). Acholonu who states of the playwright in a more specific manner: "Soyinka's themes are echoes of those of Samuel Beckett. The fundamental logic applied by Chinweizu and Acholonu in assessing the works of Beckett and Soyinka is based on the premise that Beckett wrote before Soyinka and this therefore. While the first betrayal strengthened the people's reliance on one another both as members of the oppressed community and as potential partners in the fight for independence.
This is why it can be dangerous to follow the practice so frequently found in Ecocriticism. Gary Synder. (“Blues” Environmental 10) Thus while discussions and propositions continue in the West. not nature. Wallace Segner. Ecocriticism takes as its subject the interconnectedness between nature and culture. subject and ideas with the natural landscape. Wendell Berry and Barry Lopez while others have not been too idle in the narrativisation of scholarship as a method of imparting and exploring knowledge. affecting it and affected by it.” As he reminds us. some eco-critics have been very busy creating “model” nature writings in the tradition of Henry David Thoreau. imaginative writers may not have to ask hard questions about representation and cognition.5 Online Order: Add to Cart Bulk Order: Contact Publisher Eco-critical Spaces: The Natural Landscape of New Nigerian Poetry By Devapriya Sanyal THIS Eco-critical reading of what is being tagged as „New Nigerian poetry‟ uses the poetry collections Marching to Kilimanjaro (Ossie Enekwe 2005) and Full Moon (Chin Ce 2001) – two works made available in PDF format – to focus mainly upon how local poets in Africa perceive nature in their poetry. John Muir. Rachel Carson. (“Environment”) However. arguments still abound concerning standards of practice. . specifically the cultural artefacts of language and literature. invariably then the research assumes the investigation of representations of man. According to Cheryll Glofelty. spheres and climactic and meteorological elements. and of importing their language into the critical vocabulary. on the sense in which literary texts can be said to render extratextual environments or on how if at all literary inquiry might be based on models taken from natural science or science studies. Michael Cohen is quick to point out that “because literature is about human expression. of taking established nature writers to be reliable theorists on nature writing. for example. Michael Cohen observes that eco-critical …contention over strategies of representation and the underlying ideologies that create them are likely to provide unending discussions that no doubt will be shaped by the unfolding of cognitive studies.JAL No. this foregrounds the “liveliness” and not “consensus” that abounds in critical practice. For him this point of disparity is traceable to the concept of literature and environment. as Eco-criticism attracts scholarly interest throughout the Eastern and Western hemispheres in the twenty-first century. Interestingly. (“Blues”) Our practice departs from those of mainstream Western scholars as described above and situates the investigation on the broadest definition of Eco-criticism as the imagining and representation of nature in literary texts. Ann Zwinger. Edward Abbey. As he states: Literature-and-environment studies are anything but unanimous. Mary Austin. And so our use of Eco-criticism in this study shall be based broadly on the definitions of the concept offered by Cheryll Glofelty and Michael Cohen. but critics do. Ecocriticism shares the fundamental premise that human culture is connected to the physical world. For critic Lawrence Buell. Aldo Leopold. Eco-critics constitute an interpretive community whose works focus primarily on literature. and what possible interpretations can emerge from their poetic representations of personae.. (Ecocritical Reader 1996) Since this approach to some poems by Ossie Enekwe and Chin Ce investigates the interconnectedness and relationship between cultural artefacts of language and poetry vis-à-vis nature's representatives in landscapes. In a concise summation of the issue. focus and the actual relationship between environment and literature. Robinson Jeffers. all theories of representation must be about human strategies and therefore “anthropocentric”..
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