ENGLISH 125D Lecture Notes - Lecture 25: Chinua Achebe, Civilizing Mission, Metonymy

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14 Dec 2016
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Deceptively simple novel; has become representative of african novel, cross-disciplinary, shows up in poli sci and anthro classes . Speaking continentally - novel is very much about specific ethnic group, but has a metonymic presence canonically. Novel"s read often as work of realism, describing life as it actually was; but that"s a veneer, stylistic/formal choice the author takes on. Achebe"s trying to address not just the presentation of afr in general, but particularly in the canon. Tfa makes several interventions (formally, historically) w/ other particular novels (like. Addresses subject position/construction of the african in the eur canon lots of popular fiction and boys" adventure novels at the time are rife w/ africans - but not speaking characters, no interiors, only decorative or menacing. Tfa gives account of deep interior, why ppl (universalizing aspect) do what they do - moving out from one ethnic group to a universal subject takes transparent architecture of realism/novel form, transcribes/locates/explains motives of indiv.

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