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8th Edition Of The Mariner: Excerpt From The Editorial Note

 Ebi Yeibo, PhD - Editor In Chief

Let the ink flow…

The capacity of literature to capture or recreate a people’s existential patterns and its power of remediation largely account for its abiding relevance throughout human history. There is no doubt that this intriguing potential of the discipline prompted the Swedish Academy to describe it as the “supreme flower of civilization”, during the award ceremony of the first Nobel prize in literature in 1901. The point is that the reality and conflicts which literary works project and resolve, respectively, traverse psycho-social and emotional matters, ideologies, cultures and the variegated circumstances which sum up human existence.

The implication of the foregoing is that writers are drivers of social thought, as the innocuous words and sentences which they deploy can, like the proverbial magic wand, shape and reshape society. In the African context, in particular, literary works perfunctorily expose or pillory the pitfalls and unrealistic or warped visions of leaders who plunge the continent into perpetual darkness or stasis, seemingly oblivious of the watchful eyes of the pen practitioner. Senanu and Vincent(1976) have drawn our attention to the “subtle and complex” link between politics and literature, in the sense that “politics does not consist only in the organization and exercise of power in society… it (also) involves a people’s appropriation of their material, as well as their cultural and spiritual heritage, as these react upon one another in history, because this is what in the final analysis gives them the authentic voice to express their identity”(p.8).In other words literature, as with other human endeavours, embodies political undertones, particularly the politics of identity and development. This explains why literary works are set in particular contexts, social or geographical, as they must spotlight or essentialize specific epochs.

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