The Eagle in Ascendance: More Papers from the Chinua Achebe International Symposium 1990, with New Papers Added

By Osu, Leon Onyewuchi | African Research & Documentation, April 1, 2007 | Go to article overview

The Eagle in Ascendance: More Papers from the Chinua Achebe International Symposium 1990, with New Papers Added


Osu, Leon Onyewuchi, African Research & Documentation


The Eagle in Ascendance: more papers from the Chinua Achebe International Symposium 1990, with new papers added, edited by Damian U. Opata. Ibadan: Heinemann, 2005. xiv +174 pp. ISBN 978129 666 6. £17.95

Damian Opata, no doubt, fitly stepped into the big shoes vacated by Edith Ihekweazu in creditably heading the editorial team for the production of this rewarding follow-up to the famous Eagle On Iroko: Selected Papers from the Chinua Achebe international Symposium 1990.

Chinua Achebe needs little introduction both to literary and non-literary scholars on Africa. The writer of the classic Things Fall Apart (1958), to mention just one of his most acclaimed works, has not only towered so high, like the full grown Iroko Tree, but has also soared, like the mature eagle, higher than other birds and can only perch atop the Iroko, the tallest of trees.

The Eagle in Ascendance is of course treading the path of the motif already established in Eagle on Iroko. For those who are not very familiar with the cultural philosophy of the Igbo, in which Chinua Achebe was grounded, the Eagle symbolism is taken from the conceptual imagery of an eagle, the handsome giant king of the birds, on an Iroko tree, the equally magnificent giant king of all trees. Hence the perplexed observer looks from the Eagle to the lroko and is at a loss as to which is more magnificent and evocative - the Eagle or the lroko. So one can only fully appreciate the aptness of the Eagle-On-Iroko appellation on Achebe if one keenly reflects on the true personality of the man: the finest intellect residing in the finest gentleman.

Chima Anyadike also made reference to the popular Achebeic lgbo imagery of a beautiful and revered masquerade dancing in the square which no one can exhaustively view "from one stand point". If that is not enough we can still liken Achebe to that mythical elephantine figure encountered by some blind men, who went to town thereafter describing the mysterious being in the light of which aspect of him each was able to touch. That I think helps to deal with Professor V.E. Chinwendu's apparent doubt, in the foreword to this book, whether any critic can still write with any fresh insight on Achebe. That to me is the essence of this critical anthology - to exhibit what fresh and not-sofresh insights scholars keep having on Achebe.

After the very insightful "Foreword", by Professor Chinwendu, and a "Preface" and "Introduction" by Damian U. Opata, the well-selected papers of variegated thematic approaches, from both Nigerian and non-Nigerian scholars within and outside the country, literally flowed. The book is in two parts, based largely on the thematic relevance of each essay. Part one, with five papers, deals with the views of Western European and American critics on Achebe's works; Achebe's subtleness (in comparison with Ngugi wa Thiong'o) in demanding a fair deal from the neo-colonial imperialist establishments in Africa; and a survey of the "shifting" narrative technique (in point of view) adopted by Achebe in A Man of the People. This first part begins with B.S.C. Nwaozuzu's "Achebe's First Novel and Eurocentric criticism", where the writer, reflecting Benedetto Groce's intentionistic critical theory, traces the early European critics' "prejudice, parochialism... and dogmatism" towards African writers' works which was due to their "misconception of the writers' (cultural) circumstances and thematic intentions". It also contains Christopher Nwodo's "Achebe versus the Universal Theory of Literature" in which he expresses not only his special aversion to the European critics use of the "universality theory" but also Achebe's total disgust with the word "universal", which he, Achebe, would like to see "banned altogether from the discussion of African literature" because of its inherent "double standard".

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Eagle in Ascendance: More Papers from the Chinua Achebe International Symposium 1990, with New Papers Added
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.