n Scrutiny2 - Ken Saro-Wiwa's and the gamble of anomaly

Volume 10, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0041-5359


As a narrative of war, Ken Saro-Wiwa's <I> Sozaboy</I> presents an unusual universe of anomie, displacement and death. But looking beneath the catatonic narrative surface of the novel, this paper examines how the writer uses anomaly as an aesthetic implement of negation - negation of dominant systems of knowledge. The novel's language of narration is strange and its characters rove about in a muddled and meaningless war; yet through the drama of their errors the writer generates an alternative syntax of values. Using interpretive protocols derived from minority discourse theory, then, I argue that <I>Sozaboy</I> is not only a great anti-war novel, but is also a narrative with an uncommon decanonizing power.

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