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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Ngugi wa Thiong'o's visions of Africa
Author:Loflin, ChristineISNI
Year:1995
Periodical:Research in African Literatures
Volume:26
Issue:4
Pages:76-93
Language:English
Geographic term:Kenya
Subjects:literature
novels
landscape
About person:Ngugi wa Thiong'o (1938-)ISNI
Link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3820228
Abstract:The landscape is not merely the setting of a story: it is a shifting, expanding territory, where the boundaries of public/private, fictional/real overlap. Throughout the African novel, concerns about land use, ownership, spiritual values, nationalism, and pan-Africanism are reflected in the description of the land. In Ngugi wa Thiong'o's novels, the importance of the landscape is paramount, as the landscape of Kenya is intimately related to the community's spiritual, social, and political identity. This article analyses the description of landscape in Ng~ug~i's novels, moving from a consideration of traditional Western techniques of landscape description applied to an African landscape in 'The river between' (1965), to a broadening of the concept of landscape to include the social and political environment surrounding the publication of the novel itself. The fictional and factual landscapes of 'Matigari' (1987) influence and interpenetrate each other, creating a charged atmosphere that challenges the reader to go beyond a simple, aesthetic appreciation of the novel and to engage the political landscape on his or her own terms. Bibliogr.
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