Tag Archives: Chinua Achebe

The centre cannot hold

“Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.”

from The Second Coming (1919), by William Butler Yeats.

A personal crisis, a nervous breakdown?

Inspiration for a ground-breaking literary masterpiece?

A view of early 20th century European politics that seems to bear ominous relevance to present day Tanzania?

Proof that poets can describe the second law of thermodynamics?

Or all of the above?

A mighty tree has fallen: Chinua Achebe 1930-2013

Chinua Achebe 1930-2013

Chinua Achebe 1930-2013

Chinua Achebe has died, at the age of 82. He leaves a legacy that will live on for generations.

He told a different story of Africa, perhaps best summed up by a Igbo proverb he liked to quote:

“Until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.”

Achebe was a historian of the lions, telling the story of colonialism in Africa from an African perspective. And by doing so, he changed not just African literature, but African politics as well, forever. Continue reading