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  • By Amanda Grants
    Apr 21, 2009
    "Environment, Progress and Transition in An African Eclipse" An Environmental Reading of Chin Ce’s poetry traces its advances from social awareness to a psychological transition into the awareness of growth, movement, and progress. “A Farewell” highlights this movement in a prefatory manner. The three ways: left, right and middle signify three choices of two extremes and a middle course. Before the choice is made, we may have to face ourselves, our fears, and actions represented in “only our own graffiti.” The choice of a middle alternative is imperative from the flagellation of the other choices but it is a lonely route that marks a separation from friends, old values, and life ways. With the choice enacted in full awareness of the sense of alienation engendered, progress is sure and even if the social outcome of this progress in political and social discourse may be uncertain. “May 29 1999” is a historical poem on the inauguration of Nigeria’s last attempt at democracy.... More > Confronting us is the grotesque image of physical paunch and slovenliness which combines in the poetic epithets to forecast political disaster. “The curse of the triangle” is another slavery which the new government portends for the generality of the Nigerian people. Ce’s cynicism has been justified in the society-evident lack of direction that rated that country the most corrupt nation on earth, ala Transparency International under the civilian government of Olusegun Obasanjo. It is the fraud of nation building which postcolonial Nigerian founding fathers had mistaken for patriotism. Its impact on the younger generations to come is being witnessed in contemporary politics of attrition and dislocation of previously honoured traditional values. “Second cousin” continues the dialogue of the younger generation which began in Chin Ce’s prose fiction Children of Koloko. The Nigerian youth such as ‘Hugo, the burly head of the thuggery squad” (Koloko 79) has metamorphosed with his “gold and bangle epaulettes” in the rich success story of Nigeria’s social class with odd jobs to his credit. His sponsors are politicians who, with the combination of politically motivated murders, extortion, bribery, corruption, and lechery, have become governors of states or chairs of local municipal councils. Nigeria is consequently in deep political social and economic trouble with such fakery and fraudulence in high places. “Wind and Storm” furthers the dialogue on the trouble with Nigeria by citizen Chinua Achebe. In this poetic discourse, self-inflicted wounds are no machination of destiny, especially for a prayerful community which Nigeria has grown to be with its deepening Muslim-Christian divide. The consequences of political misgovernance (“stoked by touts at Government Houses”) are myriad. Environmental degradation (“craters of the Niger”) is a corollary of government neglect and paucity of imaginative thinking. (“There are no more sages on silent feet.”) Where the instance of leadership exists, there abounds an overstock of abandoned quasi-scholarship in religious zealotry. “The Preacher” satirises the religious environment of pew sanctimony and its failing impact on the sensitivity of the young ones. The timeworn and consequently unimaginative religious dialogue “let him hear who has ears” begs effective communication with frenzied gestures (“in the crescendo of agitation).) Since the sermon degenerates to boredom and “consecrated tedium,” imagination must be given free vent as an escape from the stifling environment of religious extravaganzas. Chin Ce’s delineated ‘eclipse’ is therefore of a postcolonial transition that can only be determined by the quality of both leadership and citizenship in contemporary African republics. The evidence of internal social contradictions and ungainly stirrings in the form of political upheavals within the continent naturally justifies the cynicism which poets and other authors like Chin Ce seem to draw us to the centre of the African pedagogy in the artistic expressions.< Less
  • By Progeny
    Dec 12, 2008
    "Re: Environment, Progress and Transition in An African Eclipse" The environment of African Eclipse may not be wholly African, which might show the author's title as some sort of misnomer. The western world is also full of failed political leaders, broken promises and fatuous racial political claims. One supposes it's all about the world eclipse where humankind is temporarily lulled, and afterward, woken from its stupor into some definite action regarding existence. The final chapters of the book point to this trend of the poet's concern. The views of Grant are however illuminating.
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Product Details

Edition
International Edition
Publisher
Handel Books Ltd
Published
January 24, 2010
Language
English
Pages
72
Binding
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
Weight
0.35 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
Product ID
6288190
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