Wole Soyinka: “Race Retrieval” and Cultural Self-Apprehension

Tejumola Olaniyan

in Scars of Conquest/Masks of Resistance

Published in print August 1995 | ISBN: 9780195094053
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199855278 | DOI:
Wole Soyinka: “Race Retrieval” and Cultural Self-Apprehension

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“Race retrieval” is Wole Soyinka's phrase for the complex endeavor of capturing and registering the existence and permanence of a certain set of beliefs, standards, and practices. Central to the exploration of this topic is the consideration on the problems of assimilative capacity of the human mind and period dialectics in the formation of a “cultural” or collective identity. Another concern refers to the question of whether history (that is commonly the basis of cultures) is a mythopoeic truth or not, along with the psychological damage, emotional distress, and political turmoil which accompanied the unsuccessful recovery of the whole race. Although there are wider issues on discriminations and limitations of the search for absolute truths and appropriate foundations, there are internal issues prevalent in the culture (usually, of people with the same perspective), even on the individual level.

Keywords: race retrieval; Soyinka; culture; assimilative wisdom; period dialectics; mythopoeic truth

Chapter.  11394 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights)

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