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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The elegance of his writing emerges in his unique demonstration of the architectonics of the essay.

Abiola Irele dies at 81

The important names here are Valentine Mudimbe, Achille Mbembe and Paul Gilroy in their assaults on the use of “race”, “class” or “nation” as foundations for the identity of African or Black diasporic studies in any and all disciplines, together with their many supporters and disciples, especially among the younger generation of Africanists.

A Journal of the Caribbean and its Diaspora. I dont know enough about science to suggest further correlations but I have some idea of how to explore ways of moving forward. This work is also enriched by comparison with scholarship in classical African philosophies, philosophies that Negritude describes itself as distilling and representing: Retrieved from ” https: Facebook Abiola Irele blog.

Perhaps one of the most impressive here is a fascinating essay on music provocatively titled “Is African Music Possible? Irele’s exposition is based on that of Leopold Sedar Senghor, the central Negritude theoretician. In the years since that essay was published, Irele has considerably developed ideas on the continuities and reconfigurations between orality and written African literature that powered that essay on Fagunwa, Tutuola and Soyinka.

It was a time of great optimism. When he is angry,he sits on the skin of an ant. Irele, no doubt, would have few generational rivals in the promotion, projection, defense, intellection, propagation, growth and development of Nigerian literature and criticism. Cambridge, MassachusettsUSA. The most uncomplicated and unambiguous response to this question would be to say, simply, that a critical review of Irele’s work in the last two decades would show that he has made a tactical retreat from the direction “alienation”.


It was an intriguing and powerful time. West Africa Review 7. Is an Eshu centred synthesis as proposed by Irele possible?

But Irele was also more than that. An Anthology of Irdle and Theory. Research in African Literatures. Receive News Alerts on Whatsapp: His career, in fact, embraced the formative years of modern African intellectual culture, and its development to the present, its representative central institutional organs, represented by editorships in the pioneering journal, Black Orpheus, in the s, to editorship in later years at Research in African Literatures and membership of the editorial board of Transition, all these publications being central points in the development of modern African thought.

D in French at the University of Paris, Sorbonnein This was Achebe’s testy riposte to foreign critics who had insinuated that he had a larger readership abroad than at home. Immediately after graduation, he went to Paris to learn French and completed a Ph. What does this entail? His contributions to the world literature as aboila critic rank among the most seminal. Certain movements and currents of local and global histories and advanced critical theory in the last few decades have made the possibility of this separation questionable.

Standing up, he cannot look into the cooking pot. Here’s one instance that we are living through right now: New emphasis has been given to complexity, networks, and patterns of organisation leading to a novel kind of ‘systemic’ thinking. Irele is suggesting something similar is possible through the complex of ideas associated with Esu. Francis Abiola Irele- connoisseur of wine, belletrist, renaissance intellectual and doyen among African literary critics has passed now into immortality, survived by his wife, Eka, and his children, and many, many friends, and admirers across the world, where he indeed lived the cosmopolitan life.

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.

Abiola Irele

Conversely, it could be argued that there never was an epistemological rupture of any consequence in Irele’s work up to the mids and since that time.

The Nigerian civil war had just broken out.

He is also stating that these ideas are pervasive abuola what I will call ‘pre-modern’ cultures, though I’m m not sure yet how to define these cultures. He aims to root African progress in the present and not in a romanticized past. What does Capra’s book say about his systems vision as embracing all reality, as Irele is indicating about the significance of the vision he is presenting?


Tribute: Francis Abiola Irele ( – ) – Vanguard News Nigeria

Its magazine, the Black Orpheuswith its editorial committee scattered by the conflict was in disarray. That said, I now come to an aspect of the phenomenon that bears more professionally on Irele’s work in the last two decades. Clark left as editor, Irele became the second editor of what has now gone down in Nigerian cultural history as possibly the most important students Poetry magazine, the publication of whose students verse was one of the earliest harvests of a poetry tradition in modern Nigeria.

With his passing coming on the heels of the demise of Prof. Francis Abiola Irele commonly Abiola Irele22 May — 2 July [1] was a Nigerian academic best known as the doyen of Africanist literary scholars worldwide. He is a wonderful scholar and person and friend. This basis emerges in the association of Esu with ase, the cosmic force that enables existence and development in Yoruba cosmology.

Up to his last days, his intellect, the vigor of his mind, had not shown signs of not aging.

Francis Abiola Irele | W. W. Norton & Company

It soon irfle upon Abiola Irele and J. These two currents are, on the one hand, a synthesizing, totalizing impulse which seeks connections, integration and even wholeness riele diverse and even contradictory expressions in literature, society and history and, on the other hand, a predisposition to seeking out and even privileging dissonances and dislocations that cannot be wished away, that indeed often become intrusive to personal and collective consciousness.

Abiola Irele and Negritude Aesthetics: Can you tell us more about it?