Samuel Beckett, Wole Soyinka, and the Theatre of Desolate Reality

John Nkemngong Nkengasong
Department of English

IT IS OFTEN asserted that African Literature was born in the cradle of adversity as an instrument of protest against colonial
exploitation and cultural domination. This was in a bid to enforce African nationalism and to protect African culture from being
completely obliterated by the overriding Western cultures. Writers on the continent and in the Diaspora therefore, sought to
incorporate indigenous African values in their works to the effect that critics of African descent and some foreign scholars find
interest mainly in works which treat such subject matter. This, a priori, is not objectionable. However, the slavish search for norms
reflecting rudimentary African life, thought and culture in the varied works of African authors might have serious setbacks, the
main one being the disregard for some masterpieces which might not after all lay stress on the desired tastes of indigenous African
The critic of Soyinka, for example, is most often infatuated with the playwright’s abstruse incorporation of ritual, myth lore and
idiom in his works. This is the tendency with Ulli Beier and Gerald Moore, eminent connoisseurs of Soyinka’s creative art, who have
so earnestly belaboured such themes in volumes of criticism. It is however questionable… free ebook