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date: 06 December 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Looking at African literature, this article focuses on the fierce dispute that erupted between Chinweizu, Onwuchekwa Jemie, and Ihechukwu Madubuike, on the one hand, and Wole Soyinka, on the other, in the mid-1970s, and which took the form of an argument about the thrust, tendency, and significance of modern African poetics. Centrally at issue in this dispute is the relationship between modernism and modernity. Presenting modernity as “Western,” and suggesting that it be understood in “civilizational” terms as part and parcel of the colonial project, Chinweizu and others leave themselves with no alternative but to uphold some competing notion of an essential “African” way of life.

Keywords: deloconization, modernism, Wole Soyinka, modern African poetics, Chinweizu, Onwuchekwa Jemie, Ihechukwu Madubuike

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