Achebe or Soyinka?: a study in contrasts
This is a controversial new study on Africa's two most widely read and, arguably, her finest writers. Despite their shared levels of prestige, each represents a distinct pole of Nigerian writing. On the one hand, there's Soyinka, the playful imagist steeped in the myth and magic of his native Yoruba culture; at the other end of the spectrum, Achebe's internalized Igbo cultural traditions.
Kole Omotoso - himself a prolific writer and prize-winning Nigerian novelist - explores and defines the differences in style, background, and vision between the two men. Individual chapters describe their childhood, their cultural influences, political involvement, their stand during the Nigerian civil war, their attitudes to the world at large, their contribution to the language debate in African literatures, and there is also a chapter devoted to Achebe's and Soyinka's responses to their critics.
The works of Achebe and Soyinka are considered against three main agendas: the pan-African agenda, the Nigerian nation-state agenda, and the ethnic national agenda. Despite their shared nationality, their contribution towards creating 'a community of sensibilities' in Nigeria is questioned by the author in terms of the instability that has bedevilled Nigeria and, by extension, other African countries.
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Achebe and Soyinka Achebe and Wole Achebe's African countries African cultures African languages African literatures African writers Anthills aspect Awolowo Biafra Bibliography British Chinua Achebe Christian Church civil colonial community of sensibilities Creation Day critics of African economic educated elite encounter essay ethnic nationalities Europe and North European and North European languages existence experience fact father fiction Ghana guage Hausa Hausa-Fulani Heinemann Hopes and Impediments ibid Igbo language Imam independence individual insist intellectuals Irish Isara Islam issue King's Horseman Kwame Nkrumah Lagos literary lives London Longer at Ease Longman Mbari minority ethnic nationalities missionaries Mongo Beti Mphahlele nation-state Ngugi wa Thiong'o Nigeria Nigerian writers North American novel Obafemi Ogoni Osundare Ousmane pan-African play poems poetry political position problem publication published religion role Saro-Wiwa Savannah Sembene society Sokoto Caliphate songs struggle theatre tion traditional western Wole Soyinka Yorubaland Zaynab Alkali