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Amos Tutuola Revisited (book review) Oyekan Owomoyela

(World Authors Series)


190618: this is the most complete book on Tutuola, without jargon, prejudice on language, on the multiple adventures and monsters. read [book:Pauper, Brawler, and Slanderer|434922] first, then [book:The Palm-Wine Drinkard|944103], then everything else of his i could find. this is written when t was still alive, only one book referred to i have not read, only one i have read but published after this. his argument is that t has elaborated many common, shared, stories of yoruba, and can be in style easily read as you the style of a very intelligent but unschooled, creative treatments combining not only ‘old africa’ before europeans, before Christians, but also the ‘new africa’ of many european innovations...


i have read almost all of his work, attracted to his unique grammar and words, and propulsive, concise plots, and if i have any interest in poetry, this is where i like poetry, this has some terror and escapes, some narratives, some humor, some satire, brief stories in short books. there is consistency and aptness in the chosen words- it is not ‘pidgin’, not ‘creole’- it is how he would tell the stories around the campfire... strange neologisms, use of accurate time and measured space, very real backgrounds to the most fantastic adventures told to credulous reader/audiences...how parallels with kafka are in error, for no matter how confined the t characters always able to escape rather than simply endure...


for the most of his work he writes his style, inventive but ‘local’, with monsters, witches, ju ju, endless transformations, endless capture and release, not polemical, not political- just fun...

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