Wole Soyinka: Politics, Poetics, and Postcolonialism

Wole Soyinka: Politics, Poetics, and Postcolonialism

Wole Soyinka: Politics, Poetics, and Postcolonialism

Wole Soyinka: Politics, Poetics, and Postcolonialism

Synopsis

Biodun Jeyifo examines the relationship between the innovative and influential writings of Wole Soyinka and his radical political activism. Jeyifo analyzes Soyinka's most ambitious works, relating them to the controversies generated by his appropriation of literature and theater for radical political objectives. The evaluations of this study are presented in the context of Soyinka's sustained engagement with the collective experience of violence in post-independence, post-colonial Africa.

Excerpt

When one scholar published a book-length study of the writings of Wole Soyinka in 1993 and gave it the title Wole Soyinka Revisited, he was reflecting in that title the fact that at the time, there were already about eight other book-length studies or monographs on the Nigerian author in print. Since then, the number of books and monographs on Soyinka has grown steadily to the point that to date, studies devoted exclusively to Soyinka's works number more than a dozen and a half. And this is without reference to important works like Jonathan Peters' A Dance of Masks: Senghor, Achebe, Soyinka (1978), Tejumola Olaniyan's Scars of Conquests, Masks of Resistance (1995) and Kole Omotoso's Achebe or Soyinka (1996) which involve exhaustive comparison of Soyinka's writings with the works of other major African authors or writers from the African diaspora. Moreover, there are at least five collections of critical essays on Soyinka's works, with others planned or projected. Finally, there are several special issues of academic journals devoted specifically to the many facets of Soyinka's works and career.

Given this impressive number of full-length and full-scale studies of Soyinka, it does seem obligatory to explain why I or anyone else should set out to do yet another study of the Nigerian author. One explanation is one which every single author of a study of Soyinka will perhaps henceforth have to invoke: our author has produced a quantitative and, more importantly, qualitative body of works which, for a long time to come, is sure to generate diverse revisionary studies and totally fresh works of interpretation and evaluation. While this book has definitely in part been fostered by this factor, there is a more determinate basis for the publication of the study. This arises from the fact that because Soyinka has sustained an almost unbroken literary productivity over the course of the last four decades, his output has generally tended to very quickly outstrip the scope of each successive study of his writings. And on this point, it is important to note that the more substantial of the full-length . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.