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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'Domesticating infinity' in Ben Okri's 'Mental fight' and 'Astonishing the Gods'
Author:Gray, RosemaryISNI
Periodical:The English Academy Review
Geographic term:Nigeria
literary criticism
About person:Ben Okri (1959-)ISNI
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/17535360712331393495
Abstract:The argument of this article is predicated upon the notion of temporality as a state of becoming within the stillness of time and connected to the chosen literary texts, where the text is 'a pragmatic assemblage or tool kit of becoming'. The article begins by exploring the pertinence of its title in a reading of Ben Okri's (Nigeria) 'Astonishing the Gods' (1999) inspired by his poetry anthology 'Mental fight' (1999). The notions of 'timelessness' or 'domesticating infinity' are discussed before an exploration of the mode of the novel is undertaken. The main thrust is a critical analysis of the narrative, contingent upon a paradigmatic shift from the tree image of Western knowledge to the root image of rhizome literary theory, coupled with a 'possible worlds' frame, showing how 'Astonishing the Gods' postulates a philosophical-theological new civilization, synchronizing Okri's philosophies of temporal mysticism and a spiritual cosmogony derived from the esoteric Perennial Tradition. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]