African Literature in Defence of History: An Essay on Chinua Achebe
Chinua Achebe is Africa's foremost novelist and one of the African World's most outstanding intellectuals of all time. The 1958 publication of his classic Things Fall Apart on the eve of the great African liberation struggle for the restoration of independence after centuries of European conquest and occupation, underscored the African-centred thrust of his literary journey. As Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe shows in this study, Achebe's writings in the past 40 years amount to a twin-track ingeniously crafted and rigorously-expressive interrogative epic of the African humanity during the course of the past 500 years. These have been years of humiliating conquests, occupation, and dispersal, but also years of far reaching revolutions, liberation, and survival. For Professor Ekwe-Ekwe, Chinua Achebe's contribution to this great African story is centrally seminal: (1) he affirms the African historicity that Eurocentricism is ever keen to deny; (2) he alerts Africans to the futility and hopelessness of a non-deconstructed post-conquest state to spearhead African vast topography of reconstruction and (3) he advocates an African renaissance based on Africa's critical re-engagement with its rich cultural heritage.
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