MIRRORING THE SOCIETY, MIRRORING ITS HOSPITALS: HYGINUS EKWUAZI'S POETRY AND THE CHALLENGE OF NATION-BUILDING
Vol.5, Issue 1, 2019, pp.77-91 Full text
Web of Science: 000472606700006
Solomon Awuzie https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8239-7392
Edo University Iyamho, Edo State, Nigeria
Anglophone African poetry has become a significant medium through which African society from the year 2000 to date is mirrored. The younger Anglophone African poets, widely referred to as the poets of the third-generation, have always used their poetry as means to respond to both historical and current socio-political circumstances that tend to distinguish Africa from the rest of the world. Their poetry now constitutes counter-hegemonic discourse against bad leadership in Africa and against corrupt African social and medical institutions. Using Hyginus Ekwuazi's The Monkey's Eyes as a representative poetry of the younger Anglophone African poets, emphasis is made on how the poet depicts the African society and its hospitals. The paper analyzes the collection as a sequel to all other collections of poetry produced by the younger poets at this period. It reveals the condition in which the poetry is produced and how it has responded to the decay in African society and its hospitals. The paper points out that though the older generation of the Anglophone African poets responded to similar socio-political situation, the younger generation of the Anglophone African poets has become the prominent voice in this period and that their poetry provides a clear picture of what is happening in Africa within this time space. Being a new set of voices on the terrain of the Anglophone African poetry, a study of this poetry opens up a new platform upon which this so-called "aesthetic of rage" is appreciated.
Keywords: society, Anglophone Africa, poetry, third-generation, hospital, nation-building
Submitted: 12 March 2018;
Reviewed: 19 April 2018;
Revised: 8 November 2018;
Accepted: 1 March 2019;
Published: 1 June 2019
Awuzie, S. (2019). Mirroring the Society, Mirroring its Hospitals: Hyginus Ekwazi's Poetry and the Challenge of Nation-building. English Studies at NBU, 5(1), 77-91. https://doi.org/10.33919/esnbu.19.1.4
Copyright © 2019 Solomon Awuzie
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1. Reviewer's name: Prof. Michaela Mudure, Babeş-Bolyai University
Review Content: Undisclosed
Review Verified on Publons
2. Reviewer's name: Tadd Graham Fernée, PhD, New Bulgarian University
Publons Reviewer Profile
Review Verified on Publons
The manuscript makes a very interesting contribution to the field of postcolonial African literature. It analyses Anglophone African poetry of the third generation using Hyginus Ekwuazi's The Monkey's Eyes, to investigate the role of poets in the nation-building process. It focuses specifically on the crisis of hospitals in Ekwuazi's Nigeria, but in Africa generally. The article makes a very interesting statement about the overlap of institution-building, social reform, and the poetic production of meaning as a guiding force in societies undergoing radical reconstruction in the colonial aftermath.
The methodology is interesting and original. After mapping the social role of the public intellectual and creative artist within modernizing African societies, and providing a conceptual context for understanding postcolonial Nigerian literary movements, the author does a close reading of Hyginus Ekwuazi's The Monkey's Eyes that demonstrates in the starkest terms the types of horrors everyday people face confronted with systematically dysfunctional public institutions. The author makes the presentation even more interesting by arguing that the poet has a seminal role in the creation of public meaning, through becoming a voice for grassroots struggles for social change.
The question of the overlap between postcolonial cultural production and nation-making has been at the centre of Post-Colonial and Subaltern studies, as well as Marxist and structuralist studies in history. The author presents this problematic intersection in a very interesting light. The study investigates how a specific institution (i.e. the hospital) functions as a mirror for transition in the broader society, and how the poetic vision serves as a polyvocal expression in the public quest to realize the right means in social reform and reconstruction.
Handling Editor: Stan Bogdanov
Verified Editor Record on Publons: https://publons.com/p/2136295