A parable of the African condition: the interface of postmodernism and postcolonialism in Biyi Bandele-Thomas's fiction

Ayo Kehinde

Abstract

The emergence of postmodernist fiction in Africa has become both a literary phenomenon and an answer to the all-important question of evolving a style that adequately presents the subject matter. Plagued by the density and morbidity of societal ills, the African novelist rises to the challenge by coming out with a new style that literally oozes out with the chaos and disorder s/he observes in her/his society. The contemporary African novel can thus be perceived as going through a period of stylistic innovation. This innovative artistic thrust is not inadvertent; rather, it is a reflection of the socio-historical realities of its enabling society. Thus, the contemporary African novel is mostly couched in postmodernist mode in an attempt to signify the anomic nature of the African postcolonial milieu. It is against the backdrop of the foregoing that this paper attempts an examination of the blend of the features of Postcolonial literatures and Postmodernism in the contemporary African novel. Bandele–Thomas’s The Man Who Came in from the Back of Beyond and The Sympathetic Undertaker and Other Dreams are used as the launching pad of the discourse. A thorough analysis of both novels reveals that Bandele-Thomas’s fiction is considerably shaped by the discursive strategies of both postcolonialism and postmodernism.

Keywords

Literatura nigeriana; Bandele-Thomas, Biyi; Novela; Literatura postcolonial; Posmodernismo



DOI: https://doi.org/10.14198/raei.2003.16.13