n English in Africa - The unbearable lightness of being : re-figuring trends in recent Nigerian poetry




Even at the most propitious of times, when a convergence of historical events and a creative ferment of the imagination appear to announce their evidence, literary periodization remains a messy business. The happy coincidence of history and the foregrounding of particular thematic and formal preoccupations in literature is often one such moment when a period or school seems inevitably to come into being. But this inevitability is deceptive, masking the constructedness of the category we devise for framing our understanding of it and the time-lines we draw to mark it. For, once time-lines are drawn and writers and writing are placed within them, the intuitive clarity of the lines blur, as writers who should be within the period by the nature of their preoccupations and styles fall outside and others within very clearly pronounce their unbelonging in their work.


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