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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Realism, criticism, and the disguises of both: a reading of Chinua Achebe's 'Things fall apart' with an evaluation of the criticism relating to it
Author:Quayson, AtoISNI
Periodical:Research in African Literatures
Geographic term:Nigeria
literary criticism
About person:Albert Chinualumogu Achebe (1930-2013)ISNI
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3819871
Abstract:This article offers a critique of the general evaluation of 'Things fall apart' (1958) by Chinua Achebe. Much of the criticism relating to the novel shares implicit assumptions with the nature of the 'realism' that the work itself offers. These assumptions subtly valorize the hermeneutical and exegetical approaches to the work without paying attention to the fact that its 'realism' is a construct whose basic premises cannot be taken unproblematically. To help problematize the nature of the novel's realism, the author focuses on its construction of women and the feminine. This specific reading is offered as a model open to further modification and an alternative to the dominant tendencies in the area of the criticism of African literature. Ultimately, the author suggests that the representationalist readings that relate to this work are, though valid, grossly inadequate and that it is preferable to adopt a multi-tiered approach to Achebe's work and to African literature in general that will not take them as merely mimetic of an African reality but will pay attention to them as 'restructurations' of various cultural subtexts. Bibliogr., notes.