Details for There Was A Country: Achebe’s Things Fall Apart Revisited

Name:There Was A Country: Achebe’s Things Fall Apart Revisited

The publication of Chinua Achebe’s new book, There was a country: A personal history of Biafra, has in my opinion generated a lot of political criticisms on some of the issues raised in the text. The most topical are those that focus on the roles of General Gowon and Obafemi Owolowo in the civil war. I choose to use the expression ‘civil war’ and not Biafran war because the notion of Biafran war seems to imply that Biafra waged a war with herself, whereas the notion of civil war points to the fact that a section of one country waged a war against another section of the same country, which is exactly what happened in the Nigerian situation. This interpretation is consistent with the idea of “There was a country.”

Chinua Achebe, one of Nigeria’s foremost literary artists was the first to use the expression “Things Fall Apart” within the context of African literary discourse and output. But in the world’s literary arena, the expression is traceable to William Butler Yeats’ poem “The Second Coming.”  The text reads: “Turning and turning in the widening gyre. The Falcon cannot hear the Falconer. Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold ….” In Nigeria’s literary history Achebe was the first to use the expression and since then he has been revered as the ‘father’ of Things Fall Apart. Achebe in his own usage of the expression used it with a different context and connotation from Yeats.

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Created On: 12/24/2012 20:59
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