Political Turmoil and Lack of Rights in Nigerian Literature

  • Nicola Turi
Keywords: Achebe, Biafra, Nigerian Literature, Saro-Wiwa, Soyinka


Contemporary Nigerian literature has been strongly influenced by the events that marked the recent history of the country: from British colonization to the Biafra war, to the conflict that opposed the central government and the Mosop army on river Niger’s delta. These events have often been characterized by the suspension or substitution of the current legal order, a doubtful application of international law, a legally enforced repression of the opposition. This essay covers the fifty years going from the release of Chinua Achebe’s Things fall apart (1958: a book about british missionary’s arrival in the country) to the fictional and non fictional production by Wole Soyinka (1972), Ken Saro Wiwa (1985) and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2006) on the civil war of 1967-70. Creating a dialogue between these texts, its goal is to underline the result of the conflict between law and literature offering an overview on a national literature almost condemned to represent law as a utopian myth, an abuse, a war between incompatible codes.


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Author Biography

Nicola Turi

Nicola Turi is a Research grant holder in Italian Studies (University of Florence). His main areas of interest are theory and history of the novel of the twentieth century. He published a book on Italo Calvino’s latest work (L’identità negata, 2003), another one on Italian metafiction of the second half of the twentieth century (Testo delle mie brame, 2007) and a third one on the reception by Italian writers of U.S. literature (Declinazioni del canone americano in Italia tra gli anni Quaranta e Sessanta, 2011). He also edited the book Memorie, autobiografie e diari nella letteratura italiana dell’Otto e del Novecento (2008) and the reprint of Faulkner ed Hemingway. Due nobel americani by Ruggero Jacobbi (2009), and published several essays, both on Italian and French, about the work of Alberto Moravia, Giorgio Manganelli, Giuliano Gramigna, Antonio Tabucchi, Guido Morselli, Guido Piovene, Raffaele La Capria, Samuel Beckett, Marguerite Yourcenar, Bruce Chatwin. He is currently finalizing a critical edition of the unpublished short stories of Giuseppe Dessi.


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How to Cite
Turi, N. (2012). Political Turmoil and Lack of Rights in Nigerian Literature. Between, 2(3). https://doi.org/10.13125/2039-6597/436
Literature and Human Rights