Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 5,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

The Apocalyp-tic-tea

SHARE THIS

The tea has been delightful. It’s a gray morning. I’m sitting on a chair. To the right, a coffee table. There is a pamphlet on the table. It’s a story by Edgar Allan Poe.  To the left is a flower pot no longer in use. On my writing desk is a blank page. I am going to write. I am going to write about the likelihood that our world will or will not come to an end.

But then something tells me that no one wants to read about the end of the world. Who really wants to talk about the Apocalypse? Who wants to ask whether it’s the coming and the passing of some form of darkness? Un-world the world from its hinges and cast it into an abyss. Are we in the last days or the first of the last days or the last hour of the first of the last days? No one really cares. Not even those who are saved. Especially those who are saved. They are already survivors even before the day of Judgment. They have already survived the destruction that is yet to come. In a sense they are in this world. But then they are also in the world that comes after. What are they?  Are they living or are they dead? Are they ghosts or are they sons of God?

As one of the unfaithful, my torment is a thought, a mournful thought. I am disconsolate. What unsettles me is the suspicion that we all will be unhinged on that Day. For the dead and the survivors–no matter the camp on which you stand–it will not be a funny thing for your world to be stuffed into the narrow crucible of God’s nightmare and then tossed into a bottomless pit. Even though there is promise of something wonderful after.

But what if the world has not even yet begun? What if the world has already ended? What if we all are survivors of something we cannot remember? What if we are ghosts from a lost time? What if the Apocalypse is not the end but a beginning that repeats itself or an ending that has refused to end?

The morning is still gray though it’s now a little cold. The title on the Poe pamphlet is “The Masque of the Red Death.”  The pot still has no flower in it. I still have not written a word. But then, the page was never really blank. It had to have being crowded with words dreaming and aching to be born.

Photo credit: Clipart ETC

Tags: , ,

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Welcome to Brittle Paper, your go-to site for African writing and literary culture. We bring you all the latest news and juicy updates on publications, authors, events, prizes, and lifestyle. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@brittlepaper) and sign up for our "I love African Literature" newsletter.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."

Archives

Laila Lalami’s The Other Americans Longlisted for the 2020 Aspen Words Literary Prize

Lalami_Laila-1

Moroccan-American novelist Laila Lalami’s The Other Americans has recently been longlisted for the 2020 Aspen Words Literary Prize. Described on the Aspen Prize’s […]

Apply for SBMEN’s Workshop “Literary Criticism: Judging Dynamic Creative Writing in All Forms”| 23 November

Screen Shot 2019-11-17 at 8.57.48 PM

The Society for Book and Magazine Editors of Nigeria (SBMEN) is calling for applications to its fourth (and last) editing […]

They Say There are Over 50 Translations of Things Fall Apart. Here are 61.

Achebe Translation Cover

How many times have you heard or read that Things Fall Apart has been translated into over 50 languages? And yet, […]

Vol. II of 20.35 Africa: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, Guest-edited by Yasmyn Belkhyr & Kayo Chingonyi, Now Available Here

20.35 Africa Issue II - graph

In November 2018, we published the debut volume of the 20.35 Africa: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry series. The first […]

Oyinkan Braithwaite Wins the 2019 Anthony Award for Best First Novel

Photo credit: CrimeReads

Nigerian author Oyinkan Braithwaite has won the 2019 Anthony Award for her debut novel My Sister, the Serial Killer. Braithwaite […]

Winners of the 2019 Nommo Awards

nommo

On October 25, the African Speculative Fiction Society (ASFS) announced the winners of the 2019 Nommo Awards. The award announcement […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.