n English in Africa - Women as absented presences : gender and nationalist discourse in Bole Butake's

Volume 41, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0376-8902



In his article "Absented Presences in Recent Anglophone-Cameroon Poetry," George Nyamndi asserts that the commanding force in recent poetry by Anglophone Cameroonians is not the immediate, observable structure of society, or what he calls the historical present, but the absented or concealed circumstances of the coming into being of that historical present. Nyamndi sees in the poetry of Bate Besong and Mathew Takwi, the two poets he discusses in his article, a spirit of nationalism that derives its strength from the nationalist endeavours of the Francophone Cameroonian freedom fighter Um Nyobe, although the poems themselves make no explicit reference to Um Nyobe. In his view, then, Um Nyobe is an absented presence - a historical figure that is physically absent but spiritually present in the sense that his ideals inform, guide and motivate the poetry of Anglophone Cameroonians in this age of general dissension against Cameroon's ruling government.

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