Continuity and Renewal in the Endless Tales of a Continent: New Voices in the African Novel

Ogaga Okuyade
2013 Ariel: A Review of International English Literature  
The storyteller takes what he tells from experience-his own or that reported by others. And in turn makes it the experience of those who are listening to his tale. The novelist has isolated himself. The birthplace of the novel is the solitary individual, who is no longer able to express himself by giving examples of his most important concerns, is himself uncounseled, and cannot counsel others. To write a novel means to carry the incommensurable to extremes in the representation of human life.
more » ... n the midst of life's fullness, and through the representation of this fullness, the novel gives evidence of the profound perplexity of the living. Walter Benjamin, "The Storyteller" 364-65 Every generation of writers confronts the burning issues in its society and wrestles with them. Charles Nnolim, "A New Writer" 158 It is my contention that the direction of any literature has more to do with the prevailing conditions of the writer's time and his or her individual response to them, brought about by the personal life of the writer. Tanure Ojaide, Ordering the African Imagination 73 The contemporary African novel has to respond with ever-increasing flexibility to new and challenging circumstances in its effort to record and reflect on the African experience. From the late 1980s, most African countries began to experience dramatic transformations in their socio-political arrangements. These transformations were most visible at the level of the system of government employed by the rulers.
doi:10.1353/ari.2013.0000 fatcat:a73rl3zp4zhyvo425gxdd27gci