Postcolonial Transformations: the Forest in Ben Okri’s The Famished Road

Nicoletta Brazzelli (Università di Milano)

Abstract

In The Famished Road (1991) Ben Okri rappresenta gli effetti controversi della decolonizzazione in Nigeria, rivelando le conseguenze devastanti delle innovazioni tecnologiche sui paesaggi naturali del paese. Attraverso i movimenti e le percezioni di Azaro, uno spirito-bambino, Okri indugia sulla spietata opera di deforestazione condotta dalle potenze occidentali e mette in evidenza l’incapacità della nazione di ristabilire un’armonia sostenibile con l’ambiente. The Famished Road sottolinea anche i legami ancestrali della foresta con il folklore e l’immaginario Yoruba. Nel romanzo di Okri la distruzione della foresta costituisce l’emblema dell’impoverimento progressivo delle risorse naturali e della vita spirituale della Nigeria postcoloniale.

DOI: 10.17456/SIMPLE-63

Bibliografia

Achebe, Chinua. 2001 [1958]. Things Fall Apart. London: Penguin.

Areola, Olusegun. 1991. Ecology of Natural Resources in Nigeria. Brookfield: Gower Publishing Company.

Ashcroft, Bill. 2002. Postcolonial Transformation. Abingdon: Taylor & Francis.

Brazzelli, Nicoletta. 2015. La foresta africana nell’immaginario inglese dell’Ottocento (e oltre). Anna Maria Salvadè (a cura di). Selve. Tra geografia e letteratura. Milano: Mimesis, 129-146.

Butler, Rhett A. 2005. Nigeria has worst deforestation rate, FAO revises figures. Mongabay, https://news.mongabay.com/2005/11/nigeria-has-worst-deforestation-rate-fao-revis-es-figures/ (consulted on 10-6-2017).

Cezair-Thompson, Margaret. 1996. Beyond the Postcolonial Novel: Ben Okri’s The Famished Road and its “Abiku” Traveller.The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, 31, 2: 33-45.

Cooper, Brenda. 1998. Magical Realism in West African Fiction: Seeing with a Third Eye. London: Routledge.

Costantini, Mariaconcetta. 2002. Behind the Mask. A Study of Ben Okri’s Fiction. Roma: Carocci.

Costantini, Mariaconcetta. 2013. Hunger and Food Metaphors in Ben Okri’s The Famished Road. Vanessa Guignery ed.The Famished Road: Ben Okri’s Imaginary Homelands. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 92-108.

Gane, Gillian. 2007. The Forest and the Road in Novels by Chinua Achebe and Ben Okri. Alternation, 14, 2: 40-52.

Garuba, Harry. 2002. Mapping the Land/Body/Subject: Colonial and Postcolonial Geographies in African Narrative. Alternation, 9, 1: 87-116.

Guignery, Vanessa ed. 2013. The Famished Road: Ben Okri’s Imaginary Homelands. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press.

Guignery, Vanessa. 2014. Landscapes Within, Landscapes Without: the Forest and Other Places in Ben Okri’s The Famished Road. Études britanniques contemporaines, 47, https://ebc.revues.org/1974

Highfield, Jonathan. 2012. No Longer Praying on Borrowed Wine: Agroforestry and Food Sovereignty in Ben Okri’sFamished Road Trilogy. Byron Caminero-Santangelo & Garth Myers eds. Environment at the Margins: Literary andEnvironmental Studies in Africa. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 263-277.

James, Erin. 2012. Bioregionalism, Postcolonial Literatures, and Ben Okri’s The Famished Road. Tom Lynch, CheryllGlotfelty & Karla Armbruster eds. The Bioregional Imagination: Literary, Ecology and Place. Athens: University ofGeorgia Press, 263-277.

Lim, David C. L. 2005. The Infinite Longing for Home. Desire and the Nation in Selected Writings of Ben Okri and K.S. Maniam. Amsterdam-New York: Rodopi.

Mahmutovic, Adnan. 2010. History as the Road of Existential Struggle in Ben Okri’s The Famished Road (1993). Journalof Postcolonial Cultures and Societies, 1, 3-4, http://www. jpcs.in.

Mathuray, Mark. 2015. The Famished Road after Postmodernism. African Modernism and the Politics of Subalternity.Callaloo, 28, 5: 1100-1117.

Mikkonen, Kai. 2008. ‘It is not the fully conscious mind which chooses West Africa in preference to Switzerland’: the rhetoric of the mad African forest in Conrad, Céline and Greene. Comparative Critical Studies, 5, 2-3: 301-315.

Nixon, Rob. 2011. Slow Violence, Gender, and the Environmentalism of the Poor. Byron Caminero-Santangelo & Garth Myers eds. Environment at the Margins: Literary and Environmental Studies in Africa. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 257-285.

Nwosu, Maik. 2007. The River, the Earth, and the Spirit World. Joseph Conrad, Chinua Achebe, Ben Okri, and the Novel in Africa. Matatu, 35, 1: 93-109.

Ogunfolabi, Kayode O. 2012. Fictionalizing the Crisis of the Environment in Ben Okri’s The Famished Road and Songs ofEnchantment. Toyin Falola & Emily Brownell eds. Landscape, Environment and Technology in Colonial and Postcolonial Africa. London-New York: Routledge, 273-290.

Ogunsanwo, Olatubosun. 1995. Intertextuality and Post-Colonial Literature in Ben Okri’s The Famished Road. Research in African Literatures, 26, 1: 41-52.

Okri, Ben. 1992 [1991]. The Famished Road. London: Vintage.

Okri, Ben. 1994 [1993]. Songs of Enchantment. London: Vintage.

Okri, Ben. 1998. Infinite Riches. London: Phoenix House.

Quayson, Ato. 1997. Strategic Transformations in Nigerian Writing. Orality & History in the Works of Rev. Samuel Johnson, Amos Tutuola, Wole Soyinka & Ben Okri. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Tutuola, Amos. 1990 [1952]. The Palm-Wine Drinkard. London: Faber & Faber.

Tutuola, Amos. 1990 [1954]. My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. London: Faber & Faber.

Wu, Coral. 2012. From Cultural Hybridization to Ecological Degradation: The Forest in Chinua Achebe’s Things FallsApart and Ben Okri’s The Famished Road. Journal of the African Literature Association, 6, 2: 93-113.

Views: 320

Download PDF

Downloads: 169