Discussion/Study Questions: “African Literature as Celebration”
As you watch Achebe’s lecture and the question/answer session following it, make note of the following key ideas. The lecture is available on Brightspace if you wish to view it again at your leisure. Download this worksheet and type in succinct but clear answers to the following questions – you may extend the worksheet to two pages, but try not to write more than that
1. Achebe’s definition of “celebration.”
2. His reason for rejecting the intended compliment about “inventing” African literature.
3. His assertion that “art must domesticate that which is wild.”
4. His theory about European rationalizations/justifications for colonizing, exploiting, dehumanizing Africans.
5. The irony he notes about Shakespeare’s giving Caliban, the “quintessential” great poetry.
6. The effect of a Western education on himself (and other Africans)
7. The reason he feels that “stories are not innocent.”
8. The paradox he identifies about the English language in post-colonial societies.
9. His challenge of European notions about universal vs local experience/stories.