Abiola Irele’s collection of essays, first published in , has established itself as a classic study of modern African literature, its oral traditions, and its cultural. AT age 70, Abiola Irele’s presence in the world of African letters and, more generally, in African intellectual circles, is a commanding, venerable one. As the . The African Literature Association regrets to announce the death of Professor Francis Abiola Irele, 17th president of the association (), and.

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Consequently, Irele has, in my opinion, been forced to make a tactical retreat from trends that began to appear in his work in the mids. On returning from Paris inIrele was first employed on the Languages Faculty at the University of Lagos, but soon found himself at the University of Legon, Ghana, when the University of Lagos authorities were not too forthcoming.

Conversely, it could be abkola that there never was an epistemological rupture of any consequence in Irele’s work up to the mids and since that time. Help Center Find new research papers in: His book, The African Imaginationpublished by Cambridge, and now a classic of the field, among the many works he rendered, places Irele at the heights of the modern African canon. It is vital to take note of both praise and criticism for the book, as well as descriptions of other books like it before Ralph Siu’s The Quantum and the Tao and after its publication, as presented in the Wikipedia page on The Tao of Physics.

Tribute: Francis Abiola Irele (1936 – 2017)

Mathias School, Obalende, from where he gained admission into yet another Catholic school, Irelle. Irele’s exposition is based on that of Leopold Sedar Senghor, the central Negritude theoretician.

Of what value is it? Francis Abiola Irele — abiolqVanguard16 July This extraordinary kind of dissociation is based on the fact that the most important scholarly journals, the most influential scholarly associations of African literature are based outside the continent.

Abiola Irele – Wikipedia

He begins by quoting Senghor. Irele’s style of expression as an artistic form. I write here of Irele and postmodernism, or rather of Irele in relation to postmodernism; more precisely, I write of Irele and his recoil from postmodernism. Irele is suggesting something similar is possible through the complex of ideas associated with Esu. Clark to reconstruct and revive it, an effort that saw Irele becoming, fromeditor of the Black Orpheus magazine, until it was rested at round about I think it was not so much Irele’s relocation to the United States in the late 80s in itself but his encounter with Africanist and other postmodernists and the tremendous intellectual influence that they wielded that led to his tactical retreat from the embrace of a limited, minimal and “beneficial” mode of alienation in the mids.


Immediately after graduation, he went to Paris to learn French and completed a Ph.

What we have now are nouveau scholars impatient in the race to become professors so that they can bask in the glow of the materialist halo it confers on them. It is this sense of a duality in the world that is felt as marking life and consciousness for which Yoruba society in particular has found an embodiment in the person of the trickster god, Eshu.

The interests and research agendas that indicate a movement into new, perhaps seminal grounds in Irele’s work in abiolw last irsle decades are equally impressive. We have discovered that the material world, ultimately, is a network of inseparable patterns of relationships; that the planet as a whole is a living, self-regulating system. At its most uncompromising and counterintuitive, it deconstructs every known foundation on which we think we have to base our conceptions of selfhood and identity: Literature in Africa and the Black Diasporaconstitute one of the most important analytical and interpretive axes of the debates on the topic.

And remembering the vocal quality of his performance on earth, what singing that would be. All one needs to do is correlate the ideas. Esu sleeps in the house But the house is too small for him; Esu sleeps on the front yard But the yard is too constricting for him; Esu sleeps in the palm-nut shell Now he has enough room to stretch at large For the Negro-African, it is in the same measure that rhythm is embodied in the sense that it illuminates the spirit”.

Francis Abiola Irele | W. W. Norton & Company

Writers now write without any in-depth critical engagement and scholarly labour in the literary sphere is no longer a quiet and prodigious enterprise of the type Irele signposted in African literature.


Disclaimer Abiol expressed sbiola do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof. These are, respectively, the very contents and substance of Irele’s work, and the epistemological rupture that seemed to have emerged in his work when that essay was written. Log In Sign Up. Francis Abiola Irele commonly Abiola Irele22 May — 2 July [1] was a Nigerian academic best known as the doyen of Africanist literary scholars worldwide.

Abiola Irele (1936-2017): Literary critic in the sands of time

In the present context, postmodernism – a very imprecise term which connotes many and diverse meanings to different people – is best presented in the light of the following extrapolation that I am making from its complex views and irelle on language: In that case, what we should perhaps do is reformulate the issues completely.

Immediately after graduation, he went to Paris to learn French and completed a Ph. Irele has identified two major ideas in relation to the new scientific world view which he states are correlative with mythic ideas from the traditionalist cultures, if I could also use that name for them. My heartfelt condolence to his wife, Eka, and his children. However one chooses to approach the matter – and this is not the context in which to examine the problem in any detail – what cannot be denied is the continuing relevance and deepening of the large-scale historical and social forces which pushed Irele in the first place irels make allowance for the possibility of a “beneficial”, chastening embrace of alienation as a response to the dilemmas and challenges of modernity in Africa and other parts of the developing world.

Irele’s first encounter with literature was through folk tales and the oral poets who recounted “raras” in the streets.