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  • By Amanda Grants
    Oct 15, 2009
    "The Poetic Return of the Prodigal in Children of Koloko" In 'Return to Koloko' dream, dialogue, and song are employed to depict changing attitudes in the consciousness of the young hero. In six years of transition he had run his wit’s end at various odd jobs -including fatherhood- never fully completed and here he is, a reluctant returnee. He never wanted to set foot on his home town anymore but the pull of return to be present at grand dad’s funeral reveals a quality of loyalty and citizenship in the hero Yoyo’s dream entries had presaged the passage of the old grand parents signifying a passage of a generation. Dream recording is significant of a rising awareness of himself and the dialogue in this section is no more lengthy for young Yoyo had other thoughts to occupy him. Also in the return, Goodman has changed. He wears ‘a distant contemplative expression on his face.’ Bap has ‘a tacit note of comprehension.’ The centre of the changing awareness may be old Bap’s... More > transition. The narrator is not present at the funeral of the old ones such as Kata and Big Mam. Old Bap is rendered in poetic sympathy. The songs of the preceding events have paled in comparison with the first song of the story, which now carries a sombre reverence as against the comic irreverence of the earlier ones, probably due to the occasion of death. But unlike the biblical prodigal son, the return of Yoyo is not permanent. Yoyo is leaving town the next day after the burial. The suggestion of continuity of life is made poignant in the dialogue with the old breed who angle for a second burial suggesting attachment to the old values and ways of life. Yoyo tells Mabelle ‘The burial is over now,' Old Bap is buried, and that's more important than a merely ceremonial and economically wasteful second burial. Yoyo is thinking he should be getting back to his own life and more especially back to his child and her mother. A new attitude emerges from the discourse of the old breed and two young members of the new generation, being Yoyo and Dora. Dora avoids everyone’s eyes with ‘placid disinterest.’ The narrator remarks that her capacity to retain her opinions to herself surpassed that of the Virgin Mary and that gives the hero a clue as to the new attitude of goodwill. It is not the critical, deprecatory attitude of past story narratives. It is the goodwill from a mutual parting of ways made smooth by deeper-level understanding. Here like in ‘The Farewell’ (Eclipse 3) it is a lonely route to an era devoted an understanding an acceptance of the onus of self-responsibility.< Less
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Product Details

International Edition
Handel Books Ltd.
January 23, 2010
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.72 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
Product ID
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