E-ISSN:2342-0251

AN ABIKU NATION: DECOLONISATION OF NIGERIAN HISTORY IN BEN OKRI’S THE FAMISHED ROAD


Historiography has been one of the central issues of postcolonial studies. The dismantling of British colonies after the Second World War encouraged a vast body of new literatures in which the Western literary modes, particularly the novel, were aptly adapted to represent the distinctive cultural and national identities of the former colonies. In the early phase of post-independence, the early postcolonial writers generally reclaimed pre-colonial forms of history and culture in order to help the process of nation building. They idealised the national past in its pristine form based on local histories and endeavoured to prove that their societies do have a civilisation, equal or even superior to that of the West. However, starting from the 1980s, this proud nationalism gave way to a new understanding of national identity that seeks reconciliation between the indigenous and colonial cultures. Magical realism with its ability to juxtapose alternative perceptions of reality and history and more particularly with its affiliation to myths, folklore and legends provided postcolonial writers the cultural catalyst they were seeking to write alternative national histories. The aim of this paper is to analyse Ben Okri’s use magical realism in his Famished Road, particularly the abiku myth to write a decolonised history of Nigeria.


Keywords


Magical Realism, Postcolonialism, Myth, Decolonisation, National Identity

Author : Taner CAN
Number of pages: 265-276
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18033/ijla.3518
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International Journal of Language Academy
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