Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

Overview

Since its publication in 1958 Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart has won global critical acclaim and is regarded as one of the most influential texts of postcolonial literature. Offering an insight into African culture that had not been portrayed before, this is both a tragic and moving story of an individual set in the wider context of the coming of colonialism, as well as a powerful and complex political statement of cross-cultural encounters....

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Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart: A Routledge Study Guide

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Overview

Since its publication in 1958 Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart has won global critical acclaim and is regarded as one of the most influential texts of postcolonial literature. Offering an insight into African culture that had not been portrayed before, this is both a tragic and moving story of an individual set in the wider context of the coming of colonialism, as well as a powerful and complex political statement of cross-cultural encounters.

This guide to Chinua Achebe's compelling novel offers:

an accessible introduction to the text and contexts of Things Fall Apart

a critical history, surveying the many interpretations of the text from publication to the present

a selection of critical writing on Things Fall Apart, by Abiola Irele, Abdul JanMohamed, Biodun Jeyifo, Florence Stratton and Ato Quayson, providing a variety of perspectives on the novel and extending the coverage of key critical approaches identified in the survey section.

cross-references between sections of the guide, in order to suggest links between texts, contexts and criticism

suggestions for further reading.

Part of the Routledge Guides to Literature series, this volume is essential reading for all those beginning detailed study of Things Fall Apart and seeking not only a guide to the novel, but a way through the wealth of contextual and critical material that surrounds Achebe's text.

Routledge Guides to Literature offer clear introductions to the most widely studied authors and literary texts. Each book engages with texts, contexts and criticism, highlighting the range of critical views and contextual factors that need to be taken into consideration in advanced studies of literature.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Dr David Whittaker is a Lecturer at Birkbeck College, University of London. His research interests are in the areas of Nigerian and African literature and in the field of postcolonial studies and he has published a number of articles in journals and anthologies.

Dr Mpalive-Hangson Msiska is a Senior Lecturer in English and Humanities at Birkbeck College, University of London. He has published many books, journal articles and conference papers on postcolonial literature, critical and cultural theory and identity.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements ix

Notes and references x

Introduction xi

1 Text and contexts 1

The author 3

The text 6

Literary contexts 15

Cultural contexts 22

2 Critical history 35

Introduction and early critical reception 37

Authenticity and the question of universality 39

Nationalist approaches 42

Achebe and African literary language 44

Anthropological approaches 48

Universalism as humanism 52

Nationalist universalist humanism 57

Marxist criticism 62

Feminist approaches 64

The intervention of postcolonial theory 66

Conclusion 75

3 Critical readings 77

Extract from 'The Tragic Conflict in the Novels of Chinua Achebe' Abiola Irele 79

Extract from 'Sophisticated Primitivism: The Syncretism of Oral and Literate Modes in Achebe's "Things Fall Apart"' Abdul JanMohamed 85

Extract from 'For Chinua Achebe: The Resilience and the Predicament of Obierika' Biodum Jeyifo 93

'How Could Things Fall Apart For Whom They Were Not Together?' Florence Stratton 104

Extract from 'Realism, Criticism, and the Disguises of Both: A Reading of Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart' Ato Quayson 120

4 Further reading and web resources 129

Notes on contributors 137

Bibliography 138

Index 143

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2012

    Be cautious

    This does NOT contain the text of the novel. It is only literary criticism of the novel. It's good if that's what you are looking for.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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