Not that often, yes? So, pay attention, because this work brings to mind that languid tidal wave in all the right ways. Each and every sentence is more of a beam than a part, interchange of far reaching wave and concentrating of particle as Soyinka conjures up his childhood in as delightfully subsuming a manner as the best fiction often does. Admittedly, the story taking place before and during WWII grounds one a bit, but here the new is traded for the novel lens, a view of things both turned on its head and lushly unique. Soyinka does not live through the war on paper till he is eleven, and there are memories from three to two to an unnamed farther back in his yearly life to first off contemplate and contend. Always stubborn, always questioning, always following his interests both physical and intellectual, viewing the admonishment of various adults as guidelines he is fully free to evaluate and critique in as vocal a manner as is necessary.
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He sometimes wrote of modern West Africa in a satirical style, but his serious intent and his belief in the evils inherent in the exercise of power usually was evident in his work as well. Upon his return to Nigeria , he founded an acting company and wrote his first important play , A Dance of the Forests produced ; published , for the Nigerian independence celebrations.
The play satirizes the fledgling nation by stripping it of romantic legend and by showing that the present is no more a golden age than was the past. Symbolism, flashback, and ingenious plotting contribute to a rich dramatic structure. His best works exhibit humour and fine poetic style as well as a gift for irony and satire and for accurately matching the language of his complex characters to their social position and moral qualities.
Get exclusive access to content from our First Edition with your subscription. Subscribe today From to Soyinka was coeditor of Black Orpheus , an important literary journal.
From onward he taught literature and drama and headed theatre groups at various Nigerian universities, including those of Ibadan, Ife, and Lagos.
After winning the Nobel Prize, he also was sought after as a lecturer, and many of his lectures were published—notably the Reith Lectures of , as Climate of Fear Though he considered himself primarily a playwright, Soyinka also wrote novels—The Interpreters and Season of Anomy —and several volumes of poetry.
His verse is characterized by a precise command of language and a mastery of lyric, dramatic, and meditative poetic forms. He wrote a good deal of Poems from Prison while he was jailed in —69 for speaking out against the war brought on by the attempted secession of Biafra from Nigeria.
The Man Died is his prose account of his arrest and month imprisonment. Art, Dialogue, and Outrage is a work on similar themes of art, culture , and society. Wole Soyinka, Soyinka has long been a proponent of Nigerian democracy. This article was most recently revised and updated by Amy Tikkanen , Corrections Manager. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:.
AKE: The Years of Childhood
His father, Samuel Ayodele Soyinka whom he called S. She was also Anglican. He was raised in a religious family, attending church services and singing in the choir from an early age; however Soyinka himself became an atheist later in life. His mother was one of the most prominent members of the influential Ransome-Kuti family : she was the daughter of Rev. Canon J. After finishing his course at Government College in , he began studies at University College Ibadan —54 , affiliated with the University of London.
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