1 - Rage Against that Good Night
Corresponding Author(s) : Wole Soyinka
Africa Review of Books,
Vol. 12 No. 2 (2016): Africa Review of Books, Volume 12, n° 2, 2016
Wole Soyinka’s book, Between Defective Memory and the Public Lie: A Personal Odyssey in the Republic of Liars, has elicited a lot of controversy and public ire in Nigeria. To many it would appear as a gratuitous piece of self-indulgence in that it addresses mainly his real or perceived detractors and critics. As a piece of edifying writing, where does it stand? One is forced to say quite low on the level of art. It does not seek to soothe frayed nerves or draw upon the finer emotions as expected from much of great writing. It is a book prompted and written in anger as he himself clearly revealed in press interviews. Even before the book’s release, headlines screamed about Soyinka’s intention to draw blood from those perceived to have wronged him. So what is there to gain in the literary outburst of a man we have grown accustomed to displaying public tantrums time and again? One would have to admit, not much.