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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Mythic imagination and the postcolonial experience in Ben Okri's 'The famished road' and Debo Kotun's 'Abiku'
Author:Coker, Oluwole
Periodical:Okike: an African Journal of New Writing (ISSN 0331-0566)
Geographic term:Nigeria
About persons:Ben Okri (1959-)ISNI
Debo Kotun
Abstract:Postcolonial African literature responds with a more mythical than historical imagination to the historical experience that brought it into existence (Ogundele, 2002). This paper posits that Ben Okri's 'The famished road' and Debo Kotun's 'Abiku' testify to the continued viability of African traditional mythic structures as base for African literary productions. Both Okri and Kotun exploit the Yoruba 'abiku' myth to investigate the Nigerian postcolonial experience and address contemporary issues of underdevelopment and universal angst. Though both authors live outside of Nigeria, both use magical realism and ritual aesthetics to celebrate their African heritage. The mythic identity of their novels provides an enabling literary sanctury to tell the story of African anguish, first to Africans, and then to the rest of humanity. Bibliogr, sum [ASC Leiden abstract]