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News ID: 579
Iran » Iran
Publish Date: 12:38 - 24 March 2013
TEHRAN, YJC. Chinua Achebe, truly called the father of African literature, died on March 21. But besides this title, he was a pioneer in post-colonial literature.
Achebe died at 82, having grown famous since his very first novel Things Fall Apart. The New York Times described him in his obituary as "one of Africa's most widely read novelists and one of the continent’s towering men of letters". The BBC wrote that he was "revered throughout the world for his depiction of life in Africa".

This Nigerian novelist, poet, professor, and critic still remains one of the pioneering figures whose post-colonial works remain something for the colonized and developing countries to aspire to. His A Man of the People is a work worthy of note in this regard. Achebe held in his profile the title of General Editor of the African Writers Series, which became a significant force in bringing postcolonial literature from Africa to the rest of the world.

Achebe was an active political writer who devoted his writings to his country against the interference of the West. He published a book called The Trouble with Nigeria to coincide with the upcoming elections. On the first page, Achebe says bluntly: "the Nigerian problem is the unwillingness or inability of its leaders to rise to the responsibility and to the challenge of personal example which are the hallmarks of true leadership."

Maybe Achebe is best known for his Things Fall Apart. The novel is a narrative of how Achebe’s country, with all the indigenous things about it, is given away to European culture. In the novel the language is an important theme on several levels. In demonstrating the imaginative, often formal language of the Igbo, Achebe emphasizes that Africa is not the silent or incomprehensible continent that books such as Heart of Darkness made it out to be. Rather, by peppering the novel with Igbo words, Achebe shows that the Igbo language is too complex for direct translation into English. Similarly, Igbo culture cannot be understood within the framework of European colonialist values. Achebe also points out that Africa has many different languages: the villagers of Umuofia, for example, make fun of Mr. Brown’s translator because his language is slightly different from their own.

Language is an important theme in Things Fall Apart on several levels. In demonstrating the imaginative, often formal language of the Igbo, Achebe emphasizes that Africa is not the silent or incomprehensible continent that books such as Heart of Darkness made it out to be. Rather, by peppering the novel with Igbo words, Achebe shows that the Igbo language is too complex for direct translation into English. Similarly, Igbo culture cannot be understood within the framework of European colonialist values. Achebe also points out that Africa has many different languages: the villagers of Umuofia, for example, make fun of Mr. Brown’s translator because his language is slightly different from their own.


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