He sometimes wrote of modern West Africa in a satirical style, but his serious intent and his belief in the evils inherent in the exercise of power usually was evident in his work as well. Upon his return to Nigeria , he founded an acting company and wrote his first important play , A Dance of the Forests produced ; published , for the Nigerian independence celebrations. The play satirizes the fledgling nation by stripping it of romantic legend and by showing that the present is no more a golden age than was the past. Symbolism, flashback, and ingenious plotting contribute to a rich dramatic structure. His best works exhibit humour and fine poetic style as well as a gift for irony and satire and for accurately matching the language of his complex characters to their social position and moral qualities. Get exclusive access to content from our First Edition with your subscription.

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Not that often, yes? So, pay attention, because this work brings to mind that languid tidal wave in all the right ways.

Each and every sentence is more of a beam than a part, interchange of far reaching wave and concentrating of particle as Soyinka conjures up his childhood in as delightfully subsuming a manner as the best fiction often does. 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. 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.

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. 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. 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. I will admit that the last events 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. I looked at him in some astonishment. Not feel like coming to school! The coloured maps, 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.


Aké: The Years of Childhood

His father, Samuel Ayodele Soyinka whom he called S. She was also Anglican. He was raised in a religious family, attending church services and singing in the choir from an early age; however Soyinka himself became an atheist later in life. His mother was one of the most prominent members of the influential Ransome-Kuti family : she was the daughter of Rev.


AKE: The Years of Childhood



Wole Soyinka




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