Today was the second day of school, and the second of my five fall term classes. I didn’t even know I had registered for Post-Colonial African Literature until I got to class today, which was a little embarrassing, since it’s a fourth-year-seminar, and our prof asked us all to introduce ourselves, explain what African texts we were already familiar with, and tell him what induced us to take the class. I chalked it up to a night of heavy drinking and a torrid fling with a hooker from
To be honest, I had only stuck this course in a place-holder, hoping to get into first year history, just to see if I want to do a minor, but now I’m thinking of sticking with this class.
Our prof, I believe, is originally from
So he suggested some supplementary readings to give some background for the books we’ll be reading, Joyce Cary’s Mister Johnson, Graham Greene’s The Heart of the Matter, and, (ugh), Joseph Conrad‘s Heart of Darkness. (It seems like I just can’t escape that bloody book!) The three African authors we’ll be reading, in case any of you care, are Chinua Achebe, Ayi Kwei Armah, and Ngugi wa Thiong’o.
Apparently in 1975, Achebe called Conrad a bloody racist, which caused quite a bit of controversy. Now, I don’t know about Conrad being a racist – I took HOD to be an anti-Imperialist text, but really, I don’t much care for Conrad’s writing either. He wrote Heart of Darkness in this weird fairy-language that he invented himself, and fits nowhere in history. And I don’t necessarily mean that as a gay joke. I just mean it belongs with the fairies, wherever fairies live.
“Some people say that the novel originated in
Anyway, there was one major point he wanted to leave us with, or perhaps more of a key term: “Narrative.”
“We all have a narrative,” he said, “or a story if you will. But who tells your story? If you let other people tell your story, they will tell it to their advantage. And they will destroy you.”