Critical Perspectives on Wole Soyinka

Soyinka also uses literary character stereotypes in such plays as Kongi's Harvest and Madmen and Specialists.42 Perhaps due to the influence of Knight's psychosexual theory of drama , female characters in these plays have a symbolic ...

Author: Wole Soyinka

Publisher: Lynne Rienner Publishers

ISBN: 0914478494

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 288

View: 893


Distinguished scholars analyze the plays, poetry, and prose of Wole Smoyinka, winner of the Nobel Prize for literature in 1986. Essays trace his career and place his work in the general context of African literature.

Yoruba Creativity

( 76 ) WOMEN IN MADMEN AND SPECIALISTS This play is one of Soyinka's most pessimistic plays . The reason for this can be found in the time and circumstances which gave birth to it . Written almost immediately after the Nigerian civil ...

Author: Toyin Falola

Publisher: Africa World Press

ISBN: 1592213367

Category: Yoruba (African people)

Page: 362

View: 517


In songs, dance and drama the fame of the Yoruba of Nigeria is firmly established and universally acknowledged. Also an established writing and literary tradition, the Yoruba have asserted themselves as a dominant force in the world of creativity. Such stars are represented here, as in the works of Wole Soyinka and Zulu Sofola. The future of language in the making of new idioms and dictionaries is also examined in an attempt to position the Yoruba and their cultures in the ever-changing world of cultural inventions.

Madmen and Specialists

Written in 1971, Madmen and Specialists is one of Soyinka's most excoriating portrayals of abusers and abused in the new Nigeria ushered in by Biafra and the civil war of 1967-70.

Author: Wole Soyinka

Publisher: Hill and Wang

ISBN: 080901226X

Category: Fiction

Page: 96

View: 579


An African playwright reveals his thoughts on man's betrayal of his vocation for power in this drama

Postcolonial Identity in Wole Soyinka

However, it is in Madmen and Specialists that the theme is given its fullest metaphysical treatment. Here it is no longer merely a question of extending its symbolic referentiality from its primary Yoruba location, transmuting a ...

Author: Mpalive-Hangson Msiska

Publisher: Rodopi

ISBN: 9789042022584

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 176

View: 667


Soyinka's representation of postcolonial African identity is re-examined in the light of his major plays, novels and poetry to show how this writer's idiom of cultural authenticity both embraces hybridity and defines itself as specific and particular. For Soyinka, such authenticity involves recovering tradition and inserting it in postcolonial modernity to facilitate transformative moral and political justice. The past can be both our enabling future and our nemesis. In a distinctive approach grounded in cultural studies, Postcolonial Identity in Wole Soyinka locates the artist's intellectual and political concerns within the broader field of postcolonial cultural theory, arguing that, although ostensibly distant from mainstream theory, Soyinka focuses on fundamental questions concerning international culture and political identity formations - the relationship between myth and history / tradition and modernity, and the unresolved tension between power as a force for good or evil. Soyinka's treatment of the relationship between individual selfhood and the various framing social and collective identities, so the book argues, is yet another aspect linking his work to the broader intellectual currents of today. Thus, Soyinka's vision is seen as central to contemporary efforts to grasp the nature of modernity. His works conceptualize identity in ways that promote and modify national perceptions of 'Africanness', rescuing them from the colonial and neocolonial logic of cultural denigration in a manner that fully acknowledges the cosmopolitan and global contexts of African postcolonial formation. Overall, what emerges from the present study is the conviction that, in Soyinka's work, it is the capacity to assume personal and collective agency and the particular choices made by particular subjects at given historical moments that determine the trajectory of change and ultimately the nature of postcolonial existence itself. Postcolonial Identity in Wole Soyinka is a major and imaginative contribution to the study of Wole Soyinka, African literature, and postcolonial cultural theory and one in which writing and creativity stand in fruitful symbiosis with the critical sense. It should appeal to Soyinka scholars, to students of African literature, and to anyone interested in postcolonial and cultural theory.

The Language of African Literature

Before concluding , I want to illustrate the direction that a speech - act approach to Nigerian literature in English could follow by a brief exposition of aspects of Wole Soyinka's Madmen and Specialists . This exposition should not be ...

Author: Edmund L. Epstein

Publisher: Africa World Press

ISBN: 0865435359

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 316

View: 165


In this unprecedented anthology, some of the most prolific and widely read African novelists are analysed.

Madmen and Specialists

In this dramatization of the power of propaganda and political repression, Soyinka looks at life in Nigeria since the Civil War, a police state in which only madmen and spies can survive.

Author: Wole Soyinka

Publisher: Bloomsbury Methuen Drama

ISBN: 0416187609

Category: Drama

Page: 77

View: 855


In this dramatization of the power of propaganda and political repression, Soyinka looks at life in Nigeria since the Civil War, a police state in which only madmen and spies can survive.

The Interpreters Ritual Violence and Social Regeneration in the Writing of Wole Soyinka

Madmen and Specialists: If the festival in A Dance of the Forests is appropriated by Forest Head for self-examination and expurgation of sins; and the celebration of Ogun's festival in The Road is interrupted and then aborted for ...

Author: Bello, Hakeem

Publisher: Kraft Books

ISBN: 9789789181957

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 178

View: 644


A concern for social regeneration stands as the factor that animates Soyinka's life-long involvement in social and political activism, leading to his incarceration for two years during the civil war, and his having to flee into exile during the period of Sani Abacha's dictatorship. Soyinka expresses this same concern for social regeneration in his writings, using different metaphors. The focus of this work lies in the exploration of the articulations of social regeneration in the works of Wole Soyinka. The first part focuses on the dramatic works, and the argument of the author is that the metaphor adopted by Africa's foremost playwright in articulating his vision of social regeneration is that of ritual. Attention shifts in part two to Soyinka's two novels; and here, Bello goes to the roots of Yoruba metaphysics to fetch a metaphor which describes a creature with contradictory personality; which at once is committed to the regeneration of the social order while at the same time retaining a vindictive, vengeful nature.

Our Mothers Our Powers Our Texts

Such conflicts are brilliantly depicted in Octavia E. Butler's novel Wild Seed and Wole Soyinka's drama Madmen and Specialists. Although separated by gender, geographic location, and literary genres, Soyinka and Butler have written ...

Author: Teresa N. Washington

Publisher: Oya's Tornado


Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 370

View: 457


“Blazes a new trail in Africana literary criticism by providing an insight into the soul and spirit of Africana womanhood.” --Anthonia Kalu, The Ohio State University, author of Women, Literature, and Development in Africa This is the revised and expanded edition of Teresa N. Washington's groundbreaking book Our Mothers, Our Powers, Our Texts: Manifestations of Aje in Africana Literature. In Yoruba language and culture, Aje signifies both a phenomenal spiritual power and the human beings who exercise that power. Aje is the birthright of Africana women who are revered as the Gods of Society. While Africana men can have Aje, its owners and controllers are Africana women. Because it is an African female power, and due to its invisibility, ubiquity, and profundity, Aje is often maligned as witchcraft. However, as Teresa N. Washington reveals in Our Mothers, Our Powers, Our Texts, Aje is central to the Yoruba ethos, worldview, and cosmology. Not only is it essential to human creation and artistic creativity, but as a force of justice and retribution, Aje is vital to social harmony and balance. Washington analyzes forms, figures, and forces of Aje in the Yoruba world, in the Caribbean Islands, in Latin America, and in African America. Washington's research reveals that with the exile and enslavement of millions of Africans, Aje became a global force and an essential ally in organizing insurrections, soothing shattered souls, and reminding the dispossessed of their inherent divinity. From her in-depth exploration of Aje in Pan-African history and orature, Washington guides readers through rich analyses of the symbolic, methodological, and spiritual manifestations of Aje that are central to important works by Africana writers but are rarely elucidated by Western criticism. Our Mothers, Our Powers, Our Texts includes innovative readings of works by many Africana writers, including Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison, Ben Okri, Wole Soyinka, Jamaica Kincaid, and Ntozake Shange. This revised and expanded edition of Our Mothers, Our Powers, Our Texts will appeal to scholars of Africana literature, African religion and philosophy, gender studies, and comparative literature. Devotees of Africana spiritual systems will find this book to be indispensable.

Aesthetic Nervousness

In this respect I would endorse Jeyifo's (2004, 141–142) view that the plotlessness of Madmen and Specialists well captures “war psychosis as an analog of (dis)organized social life,” only adding that the disorganization is also in the ...

Author: Ato Quayson

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 9780231511179

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 264

View: 553


Focusing primarily on the work of Samuel Beckett, Toni Morrison, Wole Soyinka, and J. M. Coetzee, Ato Quayson launches a thoroughly cross-cultural, interdisciplinary study of the representation of physical disability. Quayson suggests that the subliminal unease and moral panic invoked by the disabled is refracted within the structures of literature and literary discourse itself, a crisis he terms "aesthetic nervousness." The disabled reminds the able-bodied that the body is provisional and temporary and that normality is wrapped up in certain social frameworks. Quayson expands his argument by turning to Greek and Yoruba writings, African American and postcolonial literature, depictions of deformed characters in early modern England and the plays of Shakespeare, and children's films, among other texts. He considers how disability affects interpersonal relationships and forces the character and the reader to take an ethical standpoint, much like representations of violence, pain, and the sacred. The disabled are also used to represent social suffering, inadvertently obscuring their true hardships.

African Theatre in Performance

In Madmen and Specialists, the inane pursuit of a non-existant ideology, the repetition of many features, the use of only one set, and the recurrence of the opening scene through the final explicit stage directions, point to just such a ...

Author: Dele Layiwola

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781134429264

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 153

View: 885


In this lively and varied tribute to Martin Banham, Layiwola has assembled critical commentaries and two plays which focus primarily on Nigerian theatre - both traditional and contemporary. Dele Layiwola, Dapo Adelugba and Sonny Oti trace the beginnings of the School of Drama in 1960, at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, where Martin Banham played a key and influential role in the growth of thriving Nigerian theatre repetoire and simulaneously encouraging the creation of a new theatre based on traditional Nigerian theatre forms. This comparative approach is taken up in Dele Layiwola's study of ritual and drama in the context of various traditions worldwide, while Oyin Ogunba presents a lucid picture of the complex use of theatre space in Yoruba ritual dramadar drama. Harsh everyday realitites, both physical and political, are graphically demonstrated by Robert McClaren (Zimbabwe) and Oga Steve Abah (Nigeria) who both show surprising and alarming links between extreme actual experiences and theatre creation and performance. The texts of the two plays - When Criminals Turn Judges by Ola Rotimi, The Hand that Feeds the King by Wale Ogunyemi, are followed by Austin O. Asagba's study of oral tradition and text in plays by Osofisan and Agbeyegbe, and Frances Harding's study on power, language, and imagery in Wole Soyinka's plays.