oa Alternation - Ngugi's Matigari and the Politics of Literature

Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



The issue of art in the service of politics is a notoriously complex one. Although many are content with the concept of imaginative writing being harnessed to a political enterprise, not all are happy with the end result. In a review of Ngugi wa Thiong'o's Petals of Blood, for example, Homi Bhabha (1977) suggests that although the narrator avoids a form of 'romantic nationalism' that 'can lead to an idealized quest for identity, for a mystical pristine Otherness', the text's 'rambling narrative and wide cast of characters' are less than impressive.

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