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dc.contributor.authorMorrison, J-
dc.identifier.citationResearch in African Literaturesen_US
dc.description.abstractIn recent years, the celebrated status of Achebe’s early fiction within African Literature has come under attack from leading critics. Novels which were previously heralded for their reclamation of pre-colonial tradition have instead come in for censure, as works in thrall to the ideology of Western Modernity. This essay offers a riposte to these critiques, re-reading Things Fall Apart, No Longer at Ease and Arrow of God as three parts of a unified project which problematizes the opposition of tradition/modernity, expressing Achebe’s distinctively Igbo commitment to dialogue and boundary crossing. Throughout these works, the problem that occupies Achebe most urgently is that of leadership in changing times. In pre-colonial culture, the figure of the elder exemplified a model of authority as selfless service, regulating and moderating destabilising elements. The Trilogy shows the systematic erosion of that function and the ascendancy of the colonial bureaucrat, for whom a parallel ideal of disinterestedness merges with a pitiless and dehumanizing gaze. Undoubtedly, this loss is central to the tragedy depicted by the novels. What they also show, the essay argues however, is a persistent, creative spirit of adaptation in the society Achebe portrays. Facing the existential crisis of colonisation, he presents a community still at work in the ‘messy workshop’ where a future might be negotiated.en_US
dc.publisherIndiana University Pressen_US
dc.titleTradition and Modernity in Chinua Achebe's African Trilogyen_US
dc.relation.isPartOfResearch in African Literatures-
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