Stylistic Approaches to Nigerian Fiction
Book published by Palgrave Macmillan (in press)
The combination of the words 'language' and 'Anglophone African literatures' generally brings to mind an aesthetic based on the use of proverbs and phrases borrowed from the writers' mother tongues. Such ... [more ▼]
The combination of the words 'language' and 'Anglophone African literatures' generally brings to mind an aesthetic based on the use of proverbs and phrases borrowed from the writers' mother tongues. Such culturally specific features also characterize Nigerian fiction – but can this rich literary tradition really be reduced to its reliance on local languages and folklore? Answering this question in the negative, this book claims that the analysis of style in Nigerian fiction needs to be broadened to account for the range of linguistic techniques deployed by contemporary writers. Drawing on the discipline of stylistics, this study introduces a series of methodological tools to demonstrate how sustained attention to form can foster understanding of content in selected works by some of the most widely celebrated Nigerian writers of recent times – Chris Abani, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Uzodinma Iweala and Ben Okri. Among the key issues addressed are the link between style and characterization, the interplay between aesthetics and ideology, and the relationship between language and representation. These different thematic approaches converge to suggest that, while the cultural specificity of Nigerian fiction cannot – and should not – be ignored, this body of works also needs to be freed from the straightjacket of critical and disciplinary orthodoxy that has too often restricted its interpretation. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 31 (15 ULg)
Chinua Achebe's Arrow of God: More Questions than Answers?
Conference given outside the academic context (2014)Detailed reference viewed: 14 (1 ULg)
"The Danger of a Single Short Story: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's 'Jumping Monkey Hill'"
Conference (2014, April 18)Detailed reference viewed: 10 (1 ULg)
Mixed Zone 3: "What is Africa to me now? The continent and its literary diasporas"
Ledent, Bénédicte ; Tunca, Daria
Article for general public (2013)
Présentation bilingue des écrivains Jackie Kay, Caryl Phillips et Chika Unigwe, ainsi que du photographe Johny Pitts, suivie d'extraits vidéo de leurs interventions dans le cadre du colloque "What is ... [more ▼]
Présentation bilingue des écrivains Jackie Kay, Caryl Phillips et Chika Unigwe, ainsi que du photographe Johny Pitts, suivie d'extraits vidéo de leurs interventions dans le cadre du colloque "What is Africa to me now? The continent and its literature diasporas". [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 34 (4 ULg)
"Bi-textual" Poetics: Investigating Form in Chris Abani's Becoming Abigail
Conference (2013, August 05)Detailed reference viewed: 26 (3 ULg)
"'With love for my people': Chika Unigwe's Night Dancer"
Conference (2013, March 21)Detailed reference viewed: 24 (6 ULg)
The Confessions of a "Buddhist Catholic": Religion in the Works of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
in Research in African Literatures (2013), 44(3), 50-71
This essay examines the representation of and role played by religion in the works of Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie over a period of almost fifteen years, from her first published book, the ... [more ▼]
This essay examines the representation of and role played by religion in the works of Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie over a period of almost fifteen years, from her first published book, the collection of poems Decisions (1997), to one of her most recent short stories, "Miracle" (2011). By establishing a dialogue between Adichie's creative writing, her nonfíctional texts, and statements from interviews, this article outlines the development of the writer's reflections on her own Catholic faith, but also on Islam, Pentecostalism and traditional Igbo religion. It is argued that the recurrent features and evolutions discerned in Adichie's work variously testify to her growing awareness of the interaction between the ethnic, religious, social, and political forces that have shaped postcolonial Nigeria; to her willingness to denounce religious extremism in all its guises; and to her suspicion that the riiain role of spiritual movements may be to help human beings in the repression of their metaphysical anxieties. As this final item indicates, Adichie's approach to the divine, and especially to the Catholic faith, is far from straightforward and bespeaks an ambiguity that is examined throughout the essay. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 75 (9 ULg)
"We die only once, and for such a long time": Approaching Trauma through Translocation in Chris Abani's Song for Night
in Munkelt, Marga; Schmitz, Markus; Stein, Mark (Eds.) et al Postcolonial Translocations: Cultural Representation and Critical Spatial Thinking (2013)Detailed reference viewed: 126 (13 ULg)
Appropriating Achebe: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Purple Hibiscus and "The Headstrong Historian"
in Nicklas, Pascal; Lindner, Oliver (Eds.) Adaptation and Cultural Appropriation: Literature, Film, and the Arts (2012)Detailed reference viewed: 399 (13 ULg)
Towards a Stylistic Model for Analysing Anglophone African Literatures: Preliminary Epistemological Considerations and a Case Study
in Makokha, J. K. S.; Obiero, Ogone John; West-Pavlov, Russell (Eds.) Style in African Literature: Essays on Literary Stylistics and Narrative Styles (2012)
Debates around the question of language in African literatures have been ubiquitous since the 1960s, yet only a relatively small number of studies have undertaken stylistic analyses of African works. At ... [more ▼]
Debates around the question of language in African literatures have been ubiquitous since the 1960s, yet only a relatively small number of studies have undertaken stylistic analyses of African works. At this stage, there is no clearly defined method enabling one to perform a comprehensive linguistic examination of African literatures in European languages. Focusing on Anglophone writing, this essay contends that the causes for this methodological shortcoming are chiefly epistemological. Part of the argument is that obstacles to the development of tools for a linguistic study of African literatures have presented themselves in relation to both the origin of the object of investigation and to the discipline of stylistics itself. It is also shown that these hurdles have been encountered in two distinct movements of linguistic research into African literatures: one focusing on the culturally-specific aspects of texts, and the other attempting a less context-dependent examination of literary pieces. After reviewing the different factors that have shaped – or hindered the development of – linguistic research into Anglophone African literatures over the years, the article outlines a methodological framework which, if further developed, may form the basis for a model of stylistic analysis. The combination of theories presented is then briefly used to interpret selected passages from the novel Purple Hibiscus (2003) by Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. By way of conclusion, further lines of research are evoked. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 281 (13 ULg)
Caryl Phillips: Writing in the Key of Life
Ledent, Bénédicte ; Tunca, Daria
Book published by Rodopi (2012)
Writing in the Key of Life is the first critical collection devoted to the British-Caribbean author Caryl Phillips, a major voice in contemporary anglophone literatures. Phillips’s impressive body of ... [more ▼]
Writing in the Key of Life is the first critical collection devoted to the British-Caribbean author Caryl Phillips, a major voice in contemporary anglophone literatures. Phillips’s impressive body of fiction, drama, and non-fiction has garnered wide praise for its formal inventiveness and its incisive social criticism as well as its unusually sensitive understanding of the human condition. The twenty-six contributions offered here, including two by Phillips himself, address the fundamental issues that have preoccupied the writer in his now three-decades-long career – the enduring legacy of history, the intricate workings of identity, and the pervasive role of race, class, and gender in societies worldwide. Most of Phillips’s writing is covered here, in essays that approach it from various thematic and interpretative angles. These include the interplay of fact and fiction, Phillips’s sometimes ambiguous literary affiliations, his long-standing interest in the black and Jewish diasporas, his exploration of Britain and its ‘Others’, and his recurrent use of motifs such as masking and concealment. Writing in the Key of Life testifies to the vitality of Phillipsian scholarship and confirms the significance of an artist whose concerns, at once universal and topical, find particular resonance with the state of the world at the beginning of the twenty-first century. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 132 (21 ULg)