Monthly Archives: December 2011
Nigeria’s literary industry is a developing one. It needs pruning.Innovation. Structure. Refining. Several literary organizations are coming up today to promote the almost dying reading culture in Nigeria.
We – The Emotion Book club and Book Republic – are one of those new lights in the literary industry.
But I tell you, from the bitter side of the meat, that organizing literary events in Nigeria can be frustrating. More frustrating if you are a newbie. Some of the frustrating scenarios comes from the irresponsible attitude of some Nigerian corporate entities. Most of them prefer to sponsor musical events, while neglecting the more educative literary events.
Of recent, we have been forwarding proposals to companies, seeking for their support for our literary event slated for February. Most of them, we know based on their financial report, are capable of sponsoring this epoch making event.
It is a matter of necessity, far more than responsibility, for them to sponsor, partner or support literary events. Sponsoring literary events symbolizes hope for literacy.. For an incorruptible civilized society. For refined posterity.
Organizers of literary events should make it a matter of responsibility to hammer on that ‘need’ and not ‘want or like’ when writing their proposals to corporate entities. Wishing you a merry Christmas and New Year in advance.
About The Emotion Book Party
The Emotion Book Party was founded out of the great need for the creation of a platform for the public and the stakeholders in the literary industry to discuss books and other things that matter. The second edition is slated for the 17th of February, 2011. The time is 1.00pm. The venue is the Arts Theater, University of Ibadan. For Sponsorship, Support or Partnership, mail us at Emotionbookclub@gmail.com or call This : 2348093728869.
Eghosa Imasuen reading.
Our Christmas books are all interesting read, get them and enjoy the festivals. Happy Christmas and New Year in advance.
– To Saint Patrick
Author : Eghosa Imasuen
Publisher: Farafina Books, Lagos[WWW.KACHFO.COM]
Year Of Publication: 2008
Comment: An Alternate History muder about Nigeria’s civil war.
– Purple Hibiscus
Author: Chimamanda Adichie
Publisher: Farafina Books
Comment: An Interesting read.
– Everything Good Will Come
Author :Sefi Atta
Publisher: Farafina Books
Coment: A book on the Lagos of then and to come.
– Eno’s Story
Author : Ayodelele Olofintuade
Publisher: Cassava Republic Press [ http://www.cassavarepublic.biz]
– Nights Of A Creaking Bed
Author: Toni Kan
Publisher: Cassava Republic Press
Comment: A book depicting the unspeakable.
Have a lovely holiday.
purple hibiscusTitle: Purple Hisbiscus
Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Publisher: Farafina Books, Lagos
Reviewer: Alex Olomo.
The book, Purple Hibiscus is a good example of a good wine produced at the very first time of refining. Though, it is the first novel of Adichie, it is extra-superb. The diction is highly tactical but explanatory enough.Even, a student in the Junior Secondary school class can pick up the book, read, enjoy and capture the in-depth messages in the novel.
It is nothing much but a brother to Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart in structure and composition. In Things Fall Apart, Achebe employs a man called Okonkwo as his hero.Everything is going well with Okonkwo and his family until the white men came. This incursion eventually leads to the falling apart of things. The entire world of Okonkwo begins to crumble right before his eyes. He dies at the end.
The same plot structure is being achieved in Chimamanda’s Purple Hisbiscus. The hero of the book is Eugene. Everyone, everything, everywhere connects to Eugene. He lives a blissful life until the military government in power begins to go out of control. Dictatorial and irresponsible to the people’s call for democracy.
Eugene fights them and funny enough, Ade Coker, his editor gets blown up and not him.
The title,’ Purple Hibiscus’ is symbolism to represent the family of Eugene as the flower that grows in a very tensed atmosphere. This atmosphere is the military regime that was operated in the country at that time.
Eugene is bold. He fights the military government at that time, publishing the truth about the dictatorial government, without considering the grave aftermath.
Chimamanda makes Eugene her hero, whom the storyline of the novel feeds upon. Eugene is depicted as one with a questionable character. These qualities of his come on board as a result of his fanatical belief in Christianity. He has so much taken religion to the the extreme that his action a times shows the displacement of reason.
How can a man that claims to love his wife break the center table on her belly? I might conclude here that Eugene is a violent character.
However, Eugene is not a bad man. Chimamanda certifies this in the book when Amaka told Kambili that everyman has his own weakness. We were also told that he shows kindness to his gate man in his hometown by getting the wife a cleaning job in a local government.
The relationship between Eugene and his father is a pale one. This is just a representation of the effect British colonization had on us. Eugene totally forgets the biological cord that links him to his father, all in the name of religion.
Chimamanda employs this pale relationship between father and son to represent the merciful state our culture is.
The theme,’ Suspension of Individual Rights’ governs the story from the beginning to the end. The military regime at that time suppresses the right of the citizen. The soldiers visits the market, only to flog innocent and helpless market women and men. There is epileptic power supply and unavailability of water.
This same theme also affects the family of Eugene. The family is ruled by a dictatorial head.
Eugene’s children are deprived of the freedom necessary for them to grow as a normal children should. No wonder Kambili’s heart melts each time she interacts with Father Amadi.
The novel, generally, is highly descriptive and explanatory enough. Chimamanda has so much displayed her ability to manage a plot adequately. The plot looks familiar at the beginning, but we are redirected as the climax approaches.
Chimamanda has proved the necessity of the shinning sun after the rain has caused its havoc on the rubble. After the two dictators in the book, Eugene and The Head of State, dies, a new rain starts to shower.
I was reading through one of these literary blogs. The blogger interviewed a published poet and asked her how she was able to refine her writing skills.
She answers, ‘ I rewrote a good book. That is my secret. Rewrite a good book and learn the great art of good writing!’
If I am to choose one of those books I have truly enjoyed reading and would like to read again and again, it would surely be Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart or Ngugi Wa Thiongo’s The River Between. They are priceless classics that would still be celebrated after the demise of both writing legends.
As I am always looking for greater ways to refine my writing, if bent on the published poet’s rod of advice, I would like to rewrite or retype Things Fall Apart or go on an intense study of his other works. This would be without my exemption of his Kenyan counter part, Ngugi Wa Thiongo.
What about you? Which book would you like to rewrite?
Bose noticed that Emma, her two week old baby was not feeding well. Three days later, his body temperature was so hot that it seems like his blood was boiling. Agitated and confused, she rushes the baby to the clinic seeking redemption from the medical doctor. Countless prescriptions and diagnoses later, alas Emma dies. The family is distraught. What must have happened to their new found love? How could life be this cruel? Not satisfied that his death is ‘ordinary’, they decided to consult a native doctor whom her friend introduced her to. The native doctor, blessed with the gift of ‘seeing’ after much incantation, libations and exultations with his ancestors, releases the bombshell. Bose’s step mother far away in the village (Bose resides in the city) is the one responsible for the untimely death of her baby. According to the native doctor, she nailed a piece of rag to a cherry tree in her
backyard. That was what killed the baby.
The script narrated above is a replica of storylines in Nigerian movies and fiction books. Some like the ‘mirror boy,'(a cheap imitation of Onyeka Nwelue’s Abyssinian boy) has taken mysticism to a new dimension. Magical reality/mysticism is the strongest voice in Nigerian creativity. Our stories portray voodoism, mysticism, magic et al.s’
Overly dependence on magic realism and mysticism is nothing short of a cheap shot at creativity. Writers hide behind the cloak of magical reality to make up for their inadequacy in producing creative stories that would stimulate the mind. Most pundits are quick to assert that this is a reflection of our culture and traditions. This is a fact. You can’t separate the African man from mysticism. The tenets of African culture evolve around superstition and mystical affiliations. All facets of African society are influenced directly or indirectly by superstitious and spiritual beliefs. Ours is a society where the priest is the king and the king is the priest. Little wonder this attribute is flaunted in African literature and movies. But is that all there is in Africa and its creativity? Is the fate of the African man always predetermined by some cosmological forces that he has no power over? It seems absurd seeing Nigerian creative writers propagating
‘magical’ solutions to questions that are scientifically answerable. This is the bane of not only the Nigerian creative industry, but also the Nigerian society at large. Such attributes are the reasons why Nigerians and Africans are yet to come to terms with their existential realities. We chose to leave everything to fate, mumbling ‘it’s the will of the gods’. We spend more time on trying to solve religious equations than tackling the problem headlong. There is a dearth of the acceptance of responsibility on individual and societal levels. Concisely put, the Nigerian creative industry is a reflection of the Nigerian society. But need it so? Europe was in the same precarious state as Nigerian and African societies. In the ‘dark ages’, superstitions held sway. The occurrence of phenomena was explained in supernatural terms and man was thought incapable of achieving much. The result? Europe ushered in the most backward era of civilization in history.
There were no innovations or landmark achievements. There was a perpetual dearth of human creativity. It was not until the renaissance which heralded intellectual thinkers and groups such as the philosophers, Johannes Kepler, Galileo etc who challenged these religious dogmas and beliefs, that man began to realize his optimum potential. Mysticism was replaced with scientific inquiries and analysis. This gave birth to scientific and technological innovations, and subsequently the industrial revolution which has transformed the world.
Juxtaposing this to the Nigerian scenario, Nigerian writers and creative artists have to jettison their mystical appendages in contemporary works. This is not an advocacy for rejecting our roots and beliefs. Writers and artistes remind us of our history, portray the challenges of the present, but more importantly create a future for generations yet unborn. Creative writers channel the thought pattern of society. What type of future are we creating? What type of picture are we painting presently? One shrouded in magic, mystical forces and superstitions. Do we choose to remain at the lowest rungs of societal development? The answer lies in the way we use our pens.