Anglia Ruskin University
Michael Irene thesis.pdf (1.02 MB)

Re-inventing oral tradition in Ben Okri’s trilogy: The Famished Road, Songs of Enchantment and Infinite Riches.

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posted on 2023-08-30, 14:22 authored by Michael O. Irene
Most Nigerian novelists shun the use of Nigerian oral traditions in their works due to a myriad of reasons. From this perspective, the project investigated why Nigerian oral traditions are rarely used in contemporary Nigerian novels. However, findings revealed that some modern Nigerian novelists use these oral traditions in their literary oeuvre. The project explored Ben Okri’s trilogy: The Famished Road, Songs of Enchantment and Infinite Riches and analysed how the author used these traditions. It was discovered that Ben Okri uses riddles, proverbs, myths and legends to present Nigeria’s history, present issues and to proffer solutions to the country’s countless problems and more importantly, these elements allowed the author to experiment with narrative techniques. Derrida’s Specters of Marx and Freud’s Uncanny were studied to extrapolate some of Okri’s ideologies. The project concluded that contemporary Nigerian authors have a role to play in the preservation of Nigerian oral traditions and I showed this in my creative writing piece, The Seeds’ Tales.



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