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A few weeks ago, we dug deep into the Soyinka archive and found the transcript of a radio show he did in 1960 about his visit to Paris. We made a post based on this find and titled it “Soyinka’s Guide to Paris.” {Read it HERE}

Since you loved it so much, we decided to bring “part deux!”

A bit of back ground.

In 1960, Soyinka landed a radio show on Radio Nigeria called Talking Through Your Hat. The show was based on Soyinka’s humorous and sometimes satirical take on politics and a host of other things.

The show was so popular that the transcript of a few episodes were published in Radio Nigeria’s official journal—the show about his visit to Paris is one of them. 

In the Paris episode, Soyinka dissects the Parisian’s love for baguettes.

“Talking of bread rolls,” he begins, “it is well worth going to Paris just to see what amazing uses the French roll is put.”

Find Soyinka’s list of all the “amazing uses” to which “the french roll is put” after the image. 

Enjoy! 

Baguette - Bogtrotter, Shropshire

 

1. “First you must understand that bread is not an item of food in Paris. It is just a habit.”

2.  “In Paris, you stumble over rolls. If a law of hygiene was passed—as they have in England—making it an offense to leave bread uncovered—the whole of Paris would go on strike.”

3.  “The news vendor props up his bicycle with a bread roll.”

4. “The gendarme uses it instead of a truncheon. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the traffic policeman. Often you’ll find that the poor man has picked up a breadroll instead of a truncheon, and doesn’t even know it.”

5. “If a chair or a table has lost a leg, or one leg is shorter than the others, you use a chunk of bread. In England they use a book.”

6. “I’ve seen students carve lampshades out of a hardened crust.”

7. “Political demonstrations are officially admitted to take on a physically dangerous aspect only when the demonstrators are armed with bread-rolls.”

 

***

This post would not be possible without Bernth Lindfor’s amazing collection of Soyinka’s juvenilia titled Early Soyinka. If you’re curious about Soyinka’s writing before he became popular, order the book HERE

The post image is by Shropshire Bogtrotter via

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Ainehi Edoro is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches African literature. She received her doctorate at Duke University. She is the founder and editor of Brittle Paper and series editor of Ohio University Press’s Modern African Writer’s imprint.

2 Responses to “Wole Soyinka Lists 7 Weird Things Parisians Do With Baguette” Subscribe

  1. HaroldWrites June 10, 2014 at 3:53 am #

    Lol. Never knew Prof was this humorous.

  2. Oyin Oludipe June 10, 2014 at 5:16 am #

    🙂 oh yeah he was and certainly is still is. Capricious humourous wit. And getting me this book tops my bucket-list now. Thanks, Ainehi

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