The Realistic Novel

Posted by on 12/9/2005 10:23:02 AM
Post Comment The Realistic Novel Nigeria

The more potent tradition in the anglophone Nigerian prose fiction is not the romance or mythic novel, but the so-called realistic novel. The pio neers of this mode are Cyprian Ekwensi and Chinua Achebe, with the latter as its supreme con solidator. Ekwensi has the reputation of being a prolific and versatile literary artist, who has written in all the major genres. But the reputation is based largely on his five novels, namely, People of the City (1954), Jagua Nana (1961), Burning Grass (1962) Beautiful Feathers (1968) and lska (1968), with Jagua Nana as the most successful work. Chinua Achebe's contribution to the Nigerian realistic novel mode is the historical and village dimension.


In his great trilogy Things Fall Apart (1958), No Longer at Ease(1960) and Arrow of God (1964), he has made a fictive historical survey of the experience of colonialism from the time of the first intrusion of the white man to the period of the consolidation of British rule. Achebe, who sees the literary artist primarily as a teacher, is concerned in these novels with explicating the indices of the decline and fall of a people arising from both inter nal contradictions and external aggression. He also dwells on the travail and humiliation of the people as a result of their new situation, as well as the painful course they have to follow if they are to achieve moral regeneration and national self-fulfil ment.



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