Abiola Irele’s collection of essays, first published in , has established itself as a classic study of modern African literature, its oral traditions, and its cultural. AT age 70, Abiola Irele’s presence in the world of African letters and, more generally, in African intellectual circles, is a commanding, venerable one. As the . The African Literature Association regrets to announce the death of Professor Francis Abiola Irele, 17th president of the association (), and.

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In his best work, the sentence, as a building block of the essay, achieves a communication of ideas that is both luminously logical and beautiful. Clark left as editor, Irele became the second editor of what has now gone down in Nigerian cultural history as possibly the most important students Poetry magazine, the publication of whose students verse was one of the earliest harvests of a poetry tradition in modern Nigeria.

How these ideas may be adapted for contemporary use. Today, Irele’s ideas on this topic, as expounded in several essays and in parts of the book The African Imagination: Eshu slept in a nut- At last he could stretch himself!

While he was Edo, and was born in an area in which Ora was predominantly spoken, the first language he learned was Igbo; he learned Igbo from the servants who worked for his father and took care of him growing up.

Irele was a buoyant spirit and his language was clear. Global Significance”, I proceed to take a close look at further summations in the same essay.

An Anthology of Criticism and Theory. He is also stating that these ideas are pervasive across what I will call ‘pre-modern’ cultures, though I’m m not sure yet how to define these cultures. For two years, he studied the French Language, and in proceeded to his doctoral at the University of Paris, the Sorbonne, from which he received his PhD in This is why postmodernism is said to be anti-foundationalist and anti-essentialist.



We have discovered that the material world, abiolaa, is a network of inseparable patterns of relationships; that the planet as a whole is a living, self-regulating system. Enter the email address you signed up with and we’ll email you a reset link. Here’s another totally different but not unrelated manifestation of this phenomenon of the banality of alienation and dislocation: For instance, after the publication of the landmark two-volume Cambridge History of African and Caribbean Literatures that Irele co-edited with Simon Gikandihe is at work on an omnibus critical anthology on the African novel for Cambridge University Press.

While he was of Edo ethnicity, and had been born in an area where Ora was predominantly spoken, the first language he learned was Igbowhich he learned from the servants who worked for his father aiola took care of him growing up. Needless to say, updating the first aspect relating to the contents of his intellectual production and professional interests is a much more straightforward affair and for this reason, it is that issue that I will first address in this short commemorative essay.

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Eshu walked through the sbiola farm. As the essay that I wrote 20 years ago in commemoration of his 50th birthday clearly demonstrated, even at that age, he had already achieved this status. The last phase of his life was marked by his involvement in founding the Kwara State University, Ilorin, which he served as Provost.

Ben Obumselu, who died on Saturday March 4,and Ossie Enekwe, the founding generation of literary criticism has been grossly depleted.

Abiola Irele (1936-2017): Literary critic in the sands of time

With his passing coming on the heels of the demise of Prof. This extraordinary kind of dissociation is based on the fact that the most important scholarly journals, the most influential scholarly associations of African literature are based outside the continent. How may one proceed? And this is why both its proponents and its critics speak of a theoretical anti-humanism as postmodernism’s response to traditional or conventional modes of bourgeois or liberal humanism.


It is just that with all the memories crowding in, it is hard to know where to start and when to stop. And remembering the vocal quality of his performance on earth, what singing that would be. Just to give an instantiation of this point, in a special edition of the journal on postcolonial studies that was published about four years ago, the range of essays and articles published included items that were devoted exclusively to African literatures and other articles which had only the most tangential and indirect relationship to African literary studies, the rationale for their inclusion being the comparative light which their inclusion could shed on the postcolonial condition everywhere in the world, Africa inclusive.

No. Abiola Irele at 70

The emergent or contemporary writers no longer have critics committed to interpreting their works to the larger reading world and spurning out novel cultural and critical theories by so doing.

Having presented some statements from Irele’s ” What is Negritude? When mourning ends for the erudite scholar, the question of timelessness of his work will remain. Abiola Irele was born in Ora, Nigeria, and moved to Enugu very early in his life. Esu sleeps in the house But the house is too small for him; Esu sleeps on the front yard But the yard is too constricting for him; Esu sleeps in the palm-nut shell Now he has enough room to stretch at large It interrogates major African literary texts and writers.

Some of his works include, The African Imagination: