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."

Ngugi  on Hardtalk

To write or not to in an African language. 40 years later, that is the question still bugging Ngugi wa Thiongo.

In this video, he speaks on the place of language and translation in contemporary African fiction while being interviewed by  Gavin Esler of Hardtalk Extra, the art-centered version of the popular BBC talk show Hardtalk.

At some point, in the discussion, Adichie’s name comes up and Ngugi says something about her “metaphysical empire.” Watch and see if you can explain to me what he means by that term.

Ngugi has been doing quite a bit of interviews and literary events of late. Nice to have him back on the limelight and sharing his wisdom with our generation.

He seems to me such an adorable old man!

See the full clip HERE.

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.

One Response to “Video | “Adichie’s Metaphysical Empire”? Ngugi Interviewed on BBC’s Hardtalk” Subscribe

  1. Imade February 8, 2015 at 3:33 am #

    I like this interview too. From what I gather, metaphysics has to do with your idea of your existence- ie space, time, etc. Like, the old Egyptians did not have the 24hour concept of time we have, neither did the Romans. By saying Adichie has built a ‘metaphysical empire’ he means that she has constructed a false perception of existence for herself where she is a co-owner of English & not the colonised it was forced upon, and where she can be as authentically English as she is authentically Igbo. Sort of like the proverbial kingdom without walls, giving a false sense of security to its inhabitants. Ngugi says this is how a lot of people in that generation see themselves and talks a lot about language in the book, ‘Decolonising the mind’.

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

The Heart of It: Working Through Xenophobia in South Africa | Ruksana Elk

XENOPHOBIA - South African civil society and private citizens march in protest against xenophobic violence in Johannesburg. EPA-EFE and Yeshiel Panchia

READ: 15 Pieces to Guide Your Understanding of Xenophobia in (South) Africa Talking xenophobia with South Africans of all classes […]

The Brittle Paper Interview with the Caine Prize 2019 Winner: Lesley Nneka Arimah

Lesley Nneka Arimah with bust of Sir Michael Caine - credit to John Cobb slash Caine Prize

In July, Lesley Nneka Arimah received the 2019 Caine Prize, the award’s twentieth edition, for her short story “Skinned,” published […]

Hollywood or Nollywood? As Americanah TV Series Goes to HBO, Actress Stella Damasus Suggests Industry Slight & Chika Unigwe Responds

danai gurira, lupita nyong'o, chimamanda adichie, stella damasus, chika unigwe

The Americanah TV series adaptation, starring Lupita Nyong’o and written by Danai Gurira, has been ordered by HBO Max. The […]

15 Pieces to Guide Your Understanding of Xenophobia in (South) Africa

xenophobia in south africa - photo by guillerme sartori for agence france press and getty images

Once again, this September, xenophobic violence was unleashed on other Africans, mostly Nigerians, in South Africa: businesses were closed, shops […]

Johary Ravaloson’s Return to the Enchanted Island Is the Second Novel from Madagascar to Be Translated into English

johary ravaloson - winds from elsewhere - graph (1)

In May 2018, we brought news of the first novel by a writer from Madagascar to be translated into English: […]

Sundays at Saint Steven’s | Davina Philomena Kawuma | Poetry

unsplash3

when god runs out of money (how, no one says) once a week, these days, we come to where the […]

Thanks for signing up!

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

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.