Description : Within these interviews, Soyinka is forthright, clear and eloquent. He addresses many facets of his writing and plumbs pressing issues of culture, society and community.
Description : The Nigerian author discusses African literature and the writer's role in African society as the modern equivalent of the tribal historian
Description : 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.
Description : With sections tellingly entitled Outsiders, Of Exits, Fugitive Phases, and Elegies these poems were for the most part written during a period of enforced travelling, when the poet had a price placed on his head by the Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha. They offer a global perspective on the last, troubled decade of the 20th century with meditations on the deaths of Francois Miterrand and the Nigerian dissident Ken Saro-Wiwa as well as invocations to fellow writers such as Josef Brodsky and Chinua Achebe. This collection unites Soyinka's public persona with insights into a much more private poetic search.
Description : The five plays in the first volume are linked by their concern with the spiritual and the social, with belief and ritual as integrating forces for social cohesion; the plays in the second volume trace the ironic development and consequences of 'progress.' All plays are based around themes in Nigeria.
Description : A collection of poems about human encounters and inhuman isolation, based on the African author's reflections on his imprisonment in Nigeria
Description : The keenly awaited new play from the Nobel prize-winner A naked satire on the rule of General Abacha in Nigeria, the play chronicles the debauched rule of General Basha Bash who takes power in a coup and exchanges his general's uniform for a robe and crown re-christening himself King Baabu. In the manner of Alfred Jarry's Ubu Roi, Soyinka develops a special childish language for his cast of characters who have names like Potipoo and General Uzi. Weaving together burlesque comedy, theatrical excess and storytelling, King Baabu has already been coined as a pet name for the despot par excellence. "We turn Guatu into kingdom, ruled by kings. Nobody complain any more. General Basha Bash is dead. Long Live King Baabu."
Description : In this new book developed from the prestigious Reith Lectures, Nobel Prize—winning author Wole Soyinka, a courageous advocate for human rights around the world, considers fear as the dominant theme in world politics. Decades ago, the idea of collective fear had a tangible face: the atom bomb. Today our shared anxiety has become far more complex and insidious, arising from tyranny, terrorism, and the invisible power of the “quasi state.” As Wole Soyinka suggests, the climate of fear that has enveloped the world was sparked long before September 11, 2001. Rather, it can be traced to 1989, when a passenger plane was brought down by terrorists over the Republic of Niger. From Niger to lower Manhattan to Madrid, this invisible threat has erased distinctions between citizens and soldiers; we’re all potential targets now. In this seminal work, Soyinka explores the implications of this climate of fear: the conflict between power and freedom, the motives behind unthinkable acts of violence, and the meaning of human dignity. Fascinating and disturbing, Climate of Fear is a brilliant and defining work for our age. From the Trade Paperback edition.