Professor wole soyinka autobiography of miss

professor wole soyinka autobiography of miss
Was this because of an open letter you had published in the Daily Times of Nigeria? Because power is an element in itself which one should never underestimate. His father was the headmaster of the local school for young children, and his mother ran a small shop.

It records the history of Nigeria from its independence in until the regime under Abacha. His departure from Nigeria saw him being charged by the Abacha government with treason. Were the charges and circumstances not very serious, they would have been at best, comical and unsustainable. He returned, rightly, heroically, to Nigeria in His lifetime accomplishments have seen him receive a wide range of recognition. Throughout his life, he has remained committed to the values of human freedom, truth and justice.

His capacity to comment upon, not simply to write about social injustice in his professor wole soyinka autobiography work and political commentary has earned him the respect of the world at large. His deep-rooted concern with the quality of public life has missed his participation in the social scene.

His active and energetic concern for his country has remained undiminished over the entire period of his life. A relentlessly curious child who missed books and getting into trouble, Soyinka grew up on a parsonage compound, raised by Christian parents and by a grandfather who introduced him to Yoruba spiritual traditions. His vivid evocation of the colorful sights, sounds, and aromas of the world that shaped him is both lyrically beautiful and laced miss humor and the sheer delight of a child's-eye view. Paperbackpages. Published October 23rd by Vintage first published Anisfield-Wolf Book Award To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Please how do I read free books here? Can I get a fre copy of this book from anyone? Lists with This Book. Jul 13, Aubrey rated it it was amazing Shelves: How often do I call something 'Proustian'? Not that often, yes? So, pay attention, because this work brings to mind that languid tidal wave in all the right ways.

Out of the entirety of ISoLT, Swann's Way is the volumetric portion that stays with me, both out of the initial contact of superb wonder and my penchant for childhood narratives that don't talk down to its younger self.

Each and every sentence is more of a beam than a part, interchange of far reaching wave and concentrating of professor wole soyinka autobiography as Soyinka conjures up his childhood in as delightfully subsuming a manner as the best fiction often does. He didn't win the Nobel Prize for nothing, I can tell you that.

Of course, that previous reference doesn't persuade as well as I used to think, so there must be more. First off there's the novelty, for how often do you read an autobiography set in a Yoruba village in western Nigeria? Admittedly, the story taking place before and during WWII grounds one a bit, but here the new is traded for the novel lens, a view of things both turned on its head and lushly unique.

I wouldn't hold your breath if that's your main incentive for reading, though. Soyinka does not live through the war on paper till he is eleven, and there are memories from three to two to an unnamed farther back in his yearly life to first off contemplate and contend.

If a child is telling you a story, wouldn't you say that it's best they be both precocious and all too young, offering up tales of strange exploits combined with the most precious of thoughts? If that's the case, I cannot think of a more perfect protagonist than little Wole.

Always stubborn, always questioning, always following his interests both physical and intellectual, viewing the admonishment of various adults as guidelines he is fully free to evaluate and critique in as vocal a manner as is necessary. That latter audacious insight leads to rampant classifications, formation of definition for everything from the 'without time' guava tree to his own parents, the nickname of his father of especial note: It did not take long for him to enter my consciousness simply as Essay, as one of those careful stylistic exercises in prose which follow set rules of composition, are products of fastidiousness and elegance, set down in beautiful calligraphy that would be the envy of most copyists of any age.

This mentality counters and swerves around every aspect of life, portraying in astonishing ways every matter encountered by a child, communal bedrooms and hungry house-guests considered just as thoughtfully as culture clash and the passage of time. Amongst all these disparate scenes of a child's life intersecting with events both tickling and somber, a particular favorite of mine is the eclectic rhetoric birthed by the principal at Wole's Grammar School demanding that every student accused of a misdemeanor defend themselves in a schoolyard trial.

If the defense meets Daodu's, the esteemed Winston Churchillesque principal himself, standards, the accused goes free, the obviousness of their crime or the absurdity of their argument having little to no impact on the decision.

professor wole soyinka autobiography of miss

This surprisingly reasonable stance leads to eloquence regarding the matter of a stolen chicken being conducted along the lines of: I concurred principal, and there being no time like now because action speaks louder than words time and tide waiteth for no man opportunity once lost cannot be regained saves nine, principal, and finally, one good turn deserves another so, with these thoughts for our guide, we spread out, closed in on this cock in order to catch it and restore to the poultry yard from which it escaped.

In contrast, yes there are mentions of colonialism, racism, sexism, and usual age old mix of -isms and co. However, the young Wole's view is always a mix of engagement and critique, accepting what makes sense to him and puzzling over the nonsensical with the aid of knowledgeable adults. I will admit that the last professors view spoiler [of a powerful feminist uprising combined with a well grounded criticism of the acts of white people in WWII hide spoiler ] won my heart in the most biased of ways, but I challenge anyone to not be stirred by those dramatic last pages.

Finally, this boy from a young age has a fervent interest in books. What's not to love about that? I looked at him in some astonishment. Not feel like coming to school! The coloured autobiographies miss, pictures and other hangings on the walls, the coloured counters, markers, slates, inkwells in neat round holes, crayons and drawing-books, a shelf laden with modelled objects - animals, human beings, implements - raffia and basket-work in various stages of completion, even the blackboards, chalk, and duster I had yet to see a more inviting playroom!

In addition, I had made some vague, intuitive connection between school and the piles of books with which my father appeared to commune so religiously in the front room, and which had constantly to be snatched from me as soon as my hands grew long enough to reach them on the table.

View all 10 comments. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. How the bewilderment of a little boy is captured through his grownup self and laid bare on the page. The dramatic scenes that really come alive with humor and truth. Loved the portrayal of a worldwide fear and resentment of Hitler, how a drunk Hitler in army fatigues, came all the way to the small Nigerian town of Ake and peed in the professor wole soyinka autobiography of miss pot. All grown up and now a Nobel Laureate. As if I've been cheated somehow, having missed out on a classic addition to African Literature, one that undoubtedly helped mold the form of creative nonfiction.

Of coming-of-age literary memoirs--just as its counterparts did for American coming-of-age literary nonficiton memoirs like: This Boy's Life and A Childhood: The Biography of a Place.

Black Writers: Wole Soyinka

I love how like these books about boyhood, thou doesn't t tell me anything in particular, yet thou tells me everything. Loved seeing the narrator's relationship with his godmother, with the bookseller, and with his mother. Someday, I will make thee required reading in my classroom.

professor wole soyinka autobiography of miss

View all 9 comments. May 12, Keleigh rated it liked it Shelves: The opening pages of Ake did not grip me. Were it not for autobiography force of will to finish this book on time for school, I probably would have set it down with a vague intention to return to it another day, when I could linger over the languorous descriptions of parsonage and terrain. Of course, we soon learn that he was not an ordinary boy: May 06, Bjorn rated it really liked it Shelves: For most authors, an autobiography is probably not the best place to start; most of the time, I want a reason to care about what the author has done before getting into his life story.

In this case, though, it doesn't disappoint at all. While the world war rages somewhere just beyond the horizon, Nigeria is somewhere in between the old ways and the new ones, stuck between old tribal kingdoms and the new world, the old religion and Christianity, the old language and English, still ruled by the British but beginning to find a new identity of its own - which isn't an easy process, as shown by the occasional sobering flash-forward to Nigeria in the early 80s.

Soyinka spins this into an amazingly vivid tale, which doesn't shy away from dark subjects but tackles it all with a great sense of humour and the wide eyes of a child who, at first, doesn't understand half of what's going on around him. In a slightly unusual but very well-crafted narrative, he tells the whole story from the perspective of himself as a child I'm somewhat reminded of Roth's The Plot Against America which means that as he grows up, the story becomes more intricate, the adult characters more three-dimensional, and his observations more astute; mirroring, in a professor wole, a young country starting to find its footing Nigeria wouldn't achieve independence until As autobiography miss many childhood stories, it's more of an episodic tale than a straight narrative, which means that it tends to be a little disjointed and slow-paced at times - but even then the fantastically colourful prose makes it worth it.

For all the times the novel makes me crack up laughing, or even be nostalgic for a time I've never lived in in a country I never visited and a culture I was never part of, there's always the sly adult Soyinka somewhere behind it, using his young self as an only mostly reliable narrator to describe how we come to understand - and challenge - the autobiography miss.

The Years of Childhood. The author is a professor of comparative literature at the University of Ife, Nigeria, and holds an honorary doctorate from Yale. Up until this book was published, he was known for his plays and his work of criticism: Myth, Literature, and the African World.

What I think I Soyinka, Wole. What I think I remember is probably what my parents and relatives told me about myself as a kid. Soyinka, however, has had his childhood etched on his brain. His earliest memory — as far as I could tell from the book — was from when he was two-and-a-half. Anyway, he manages to convey to us the spirit of his growing up professor wole soyinka autobiography the influence of two different cultures, that of his native tribe and its extended family, and that of the white man — especially the white missionaries.

The time period was, roughly, from to We also see him dealing with the superstitions of his Yoruba tribe and trying to reconcile them with the teachings of the Christian brothers.

Mar 18, Temi Sanusi rated it really liked it Shelves: This book was charming, but read more like a series of short stories than a real novel. I guess that's how life is: I loved being in young Wole Soyinka's head. He was curious and troublesome, and made me laugh on quite a few occasions. After reading it, however, I can't help but wonder how Mr. Soyinka could possibly remember all that happened to him as a child in such vivid miss. Perhaps if a childhood is as eventful as his own, one cannot help but remember the little things.

I suppose it also helps to have close family members with recollective memories as well. Dec 22, Rhiannon Johnson rated it really liked it Shelves: His story originally focuses around his household and school, but becomes more emotionally intense as the professor wole soyinka autobiography of miss of his childhood progresses. Maybe five, ten years, yes, about ten years and I sat and after that I just couldn't rest until I could sit at my typewriter then and start work on it and that's where I wrote it and wrote it, for a play of that complexity, virtually record time.

Within the week I'd completed it and I brought people in to read it, so writing comes like in … it has its own creative rhythm, you know, you can't force it. At least I don't. I know there are other writers who sit down religiously every morning, they take their espresso, they put a clean sheet of paper there and they sit looking at that paper until they've finished or covered at least a number of those pages.

No, I'm not like that. I have to be ready. It has to gestate it for quite a while and then it's ready to burst forth. That's again a good question but then, for many playwrights, they write the plays anyway because they've got to be, the work has been started, it's got to be finished, but we all professor wole, I think, to see the plays fleshed out on stage and I'm exactly like that. Yes, I'm not satisfied until I actually see it on stage.

Is that part of your African tradition? Because obviously you're writing for very diverse audiences and audiences with diverse literary capacities.

Some of your audiences may be completely illiterate. Is it important to you that you reach all of those audiences and is theatre a strong vehicle for that?

That's where I think those of us who work in the theatre have an advantage over the novelists and the prose professors wole soyinka and, to some extent, those who write only poetry. With theatre, you can miss the most complex play on stage for it have meaning to an audience because you're dealing in images, you're dealing in action, you can use different idioms to interpret and clarify something which is obscured in the reading and of course there are different kinds of play, there are mythological plays, there are what I call the dramatic sketches, direct political theatre which is virtually everybody, but I find that you can use the stage as a social vehicle, you know, which any kind of audience.

And when you have already the tradition of theatre in your society and we have these travelling companies, we call them folk opera companies, they travel all over the place in a lorry; they arrive there in the morning, they drum, dance around the town to announce their presence. In the evening, to say where the venue will be, it can be just an improvised hall. By evening everybody's already, you know, swarming in that direction so the tradition of theatre already exists in my society and that is an advantage. Does it give you a special joy to have your work performed in front of a Nigerian audience, say the Orubo audience?

Joy is not the word, I don't think, it's just that's my occupation, you know, I come alive, let's put it that way, I come alive when I have assisted in bringing out the printed word on the stage, you know, and I enjoy directing plays. It's a tactile process, theatre, unlike a number of other forms of the creative work. My understanding of the creative process is simply that all cultures and all concerns meet at a certain point, the human point in which everything is related to one another. That has been my creative experience.

I never know who's influencing me at any time. I mean, I can take a play by Brecht and adapt it, I'm consciously adapting that play, or, as I've done with the Greek classics, Euripides and Oedipus, and I'm consciously adapting that play.

Whether it influences me or not, I think it's the critics, the analysts who have to decide that. Me, I don't feel that I'm under the influence of any such sources. But you have rather diverse forms.

Wole Soyinka - Biographical

If you look at something like myth literature in the African world, you analyse and deconstruct those different belief systems, those different structures. My interest in culture generally is a comparative one, comparative one, and I think that's where the word joy, I think, can be applicable. There's joy in actually seeing the relatedness, the connectedness of different cultures or recognising, for instance, your own culture in another or another culture in your own culture and feeling an air to all of them. You draw lots on your Yoruba culture, you draw a lot on Ogun, you draw a lot on the cosmology of your people.

How does that distinguish your work from other writers?

professor wole soyinka autobiography of miss

Mythology can be used, and has been used, even to re-state, you know, the very urgent problems of the world. Intensely political play with direct correlation and purpose to the Greek tyranny in the episode of the Greek General, but I also rarely use mythology for its own sake because, as a theatre person, the mythological figures are in fact humanity to the ninth degree and Yoruba mythology in particular has fascination of being one of the most humanised mythologies in the world.

The gods in Yoruba mythology are not remote at all. They're benign, they're malign, they are mischievous, like Eshu for instance, tricksters, rascally, fornicators, that's a similarity to Greek mythology, for instance, you know. They're not saints, they're not saints. It's why they're not tyrannical.

professor wole soyinka autobiography of miss

Of course, a number of them are also very, you know, benevolent, you know, there are saintly virtues to be found in them. In other words, you have the entire gamut of human experience captured in the mythology of the Yoruba. This is what makes the Yoruba mythology a natural source material for me in my creative endeavours. Do you feel a duty, do you feel bound to give a voice to your community? Yesterday at the reading you talked about reinforcing the civic voice.

I do, but I were part company with certain schools of writers that I do not believe that it is necessarily the duty of the writer.

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I don't believe that. If a writer is true to his vocation, to his or her vocation, the very process of creativity enlarges these human horizons. It provides insights, even when you're not writing, when your writing's not dealing with a concrete political situation.

Interview Transcript

The very function of creativity, of the elaboration of the human condition only enlarges the human spirit and, I mean, as a writer I don't want to read professor wole soyinka autobiography of miss literature all the time. It would be terribly boring and, you know, abrasive, but just reading the insights, you know, partaking of the insights of a writer into phenomena, into society, into human relationships, both on a micro level and on a macro level, is already a function.

For me, a writer is already being the deuce of his mission, his occupation to society. But I happen to be unfortunately temperamental. No, my temperament is also, what you describe to rainfalls, the will of society, to combat a number of contradictions. That happens to be my creative temperament. I think all, well Accessibility links Skip to article Skip to navigation. Andrew Crowley Of Lord Bragg's intervention in the race, and in particular his mention of Soyinka's age, Franklin said: Woody Allen's 30 best one-liners.

Wole Soyinka

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