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Shifts and Ambiguities: Unstable Literature or Unstable Nation?

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Nigerian Literary Imagination and the Nationhood Project

Part of the book series: African Histories and Modernities ((AHAM))

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Abstract

This chapter examines the relationship between literature and an unstable nation. As society evolves and progresses, its literature will also change significantly. In recent years, there has been a considerable infusion of digital narratives into Nigerian literary texts due to advancements in digital technologies and platforms. Also, this chapter discusses the popularity of literatures about the lives of queer Nigerians in contemporary Nigerian writings. It draws examples from the works of various young Nigerian writers who have acted on their desire to mainstream queer reality.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Olakunle George, “Compound of Spells: The Predicament of D. O. Fagunwa,” Research in African Literatures 28, no. 1 (1997): 78–97.

  2. 2.

    George, “Compound of Spells,” 78.

  3. 3.

    Bernth Lindfors, “Amos Tutuola and D. O. Fagunwa,” The Journal of Commonwealth Literature 5, no. 1 (1970): 57–65.

  4. 4.

    James Yeku, “Deference to Paper: Textuality, Materiality, and Literary Digital Humanities in Africa,” Digital Studies 10, no. 1 (2020): 1–27.

  5. 5.

    Karin Barber, “Reactions to Petronaira,” Journal of Modern African Studies 20, no. 3 (1982): 431–450.

  6. 6.

    Barber, “Reactions to Petronaira,” 432.

  7. 7.

    Moradewun Adejunmobi, “Neo-Liberal Rationalities in Old and New Nollywood,” African Studies Review 58, no. 3 (2015): 33.

  8. 8.

    Adejunmobi, “Neo-Liberal Rationalities,” 33.

  9. 9.

    Adejunmobi, “Neo-Liberal Rationalities,” 32–33.

  10. 10.

    For how ideology both aesthetic and thematic can be mixed up with social commitment and representation, see Udenta O. Udenta, Art, Ideology and Social Commitment in African Poetry (Ibadan: Kraft Book, 2015).

  11. 11.

    Romanus Aboh, “Semantic Map and Ideology in Select Nigerian Poetic Discourse,” African Journal of History and Culture 1, no. 1 (2009): 6–15.

  12. 12.

    Aboh, “Ideology in Select Nigerian Poetic Discourse,” 6.

  13. 13.

    Roger Fowler, Literature as Social Discourse: The Practice of Linguistic Criticism (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1981), 29.

  14. 14.

    See Stephanie Shonekan, “The Blueprint: The Gift and The Curse of American Hip Hop Culture for Nigeria’s Millennial Youth,” The Journal of Pan African Studies 6, no. 3 (2013), 186–189.

  15. 15.

    Shonekan “The Blueprint.”

  16. 16.

    Ayo Kehinde, “Post-Independence Nigerian Literature and the Quest for True Political Leadership for the Nation,” Journal of Sustainable Development in Africa 10, no. 2 (2008), 333.

  17. 17.

    Kehinde, “Post-Independence Nigerian Literature,” 333.

  18. 18.

    Lindsey B. Green-Simms, “Queer Valences in African Literatures and Film”, Research in African Literatures 47, no. 2 (2016): 139–161.

  19. 19.

    Lynn Irwin, “Homophobia and Heterosexism: Implications for Nursing and Nursing Practice,” Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing 25, no. 1 (2007): 70–76.

  20. 20.

    Green-Simms, “Queer Valences.”

  21. 21.

    Girmah Negash revisits this kind of criticism against migrant and diasporic writers in her article, “Migrant Literature and Political Commitment: Puzzles and Parables in the Novels of Biyi Bandele-Thomas,” Journal of African Cultural Studies 12, no. 1 (1991): 77–92.

  22. 22.

    Negash, “Migrant Literature,” 79.

  23. 23.

    Negash, “Migrant Literature,” 79.

  24. 24.

    Negash, “Migrant Literature,” 79.

  25. 25.

    James Yeku, “Deference to Paper: Textuality, Materiality, and Literary Digital Humanities in Africa,” Digital Studies 10, no. 1 (2020): 1–27.

  26. 26.

    Elleke Boehmer, Colonial and Postcolonial Literature: Migrant Metaphors (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995), 232.

  27. 27.

    Negash, “Migrant Literature,” 80.

  28. 28.

    Negash, “Migrant Literature,” 80.

  29. 29.

    Joanna Sullivan, “The Question of a National Literature for Nigeria,” Research in African Literatures 32, no. 3 (2001): 71–85.

  30. 30.

    Bernth Lindfors, “Beating the White Man at His Own Game: Nigerian Reactions to the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature,” Black American Literature Forum 22, no. 3 (1988): 475–488. See also Chinweizu Onwuchekwa Jemie and Ihechukwu Madubuike, Toward the Decolonization of African Literature (Washington: Howard UP, 1983).

  31. 31.

    Odun T. Balogun, “Wole Soyinka and the Literary Aesthetic of African Socialism,” Black American Literature Forum 22, no. 3 (1988): 503–530.

  32. 32.

    Wealth Ominabo Dickson, “Interview: Achebe’s ‘Things Fall Apart’ is not the Great African Novel – Onyeka Nwelue,” Premium Times, August 18, 2019, https://www.premiumtimesng.com/entertainment/208821-interview-achebes-things-fall-apart-not-great-african-novel-onyeka-nwelue.html.

  33. 33.

    Dickson, “Interview: Achebe’s ‘Things Fall Apart’.”

  34. 34.

    Virginia Woolf, “Modern Fiction,” in The Essays of Virginia Woolf Volume 4: 1925 to 1928, Andrew McNeille ed. (London: The Hogarth Press, 1984): 157–164.

  35. 35.

    Woolf, “Modern Fiction,” 157.

  36. 36.

    Woolf, “Modern Fiction,” 158.

  37. 37.

    Woolf, “Modern Fiction,” 157–58.

  38. 38.

    Jane Bryce, “‘Half and Half Children’: Third-Generation Women Writers and the New Nigerian Novel,” Research in African Literatures 39, no. 2 (2008): 49–67.

  39. 39.

    Olakunle George, “Compound of Spells: The Predicament of D. O. Fagunwa,” Research in African Literatures 28, no. 1 (1997): 78–97.

  40. 40.

    Jane Bryce, “African Futurism: Speculative Fictions and ‘Rewriting the Great Book,’” Research in African Literatures 50, no. 1 (2019): 1–19.

  41. 41.

    George, “The Predicament of Fagunwa,” 81.

  42. 42.

    James Yeku, “Anti-Afropolitan Ethics and the Performative Politics of Online-Scambaiting,” Social Dynamics: A Journal of African Studies 46, no. 2 (2020): 240–258.

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Correspondence to Toyin Falola .

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Falola, T. (2022). Shifts and Ambiguities: Unstable Literature or Unstable Nation?. In: Nigerian Literary Imagination and the Nationhood Project. African Histories and Modernities. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-01991-3_8

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