IntroductionThe authored talk under study could be seen as a coherent program of rethinking the long and well established recipes that have underpinned open society as well as literary criticisms. The classic obsession with elegant and simple theories or normative implications has come into question at many levels. The present report aims to show how the authors personal experiences and recollections can prove so transferable as to accommodate a variety of micro- and macro-level setups in which politicians compete with fiction writers and philosophers over who is to set frames and agendas.
Greater AfricaAdichies informal yet comprehensive account seems to fit just squarely into the popular perceptions of Africa at large. For centuries, the continent has been depicted as a backwards place to be (or a model of Dutch Disease), a source of cheap slave labor not fit for much else and in fact foretold to end up hovering amid sheer fiefdom and serfdom. Never mind that this has largely followed the rationale of a self-fulfilling prophecy, with the land being plundered and labor-drained by the seemingly benevolent attempts at bringing in some missionary and statehood traces that the indigenous populaces were allegedly not capable of securing. In a sense, it should come as little surprise that the author positions herself as a feminist, keeping in mind that a similar vicious circle is what women had long been trapped inside, by being denied access to education and suffrage on the speculative premises of not being advancedi.e. educated and endowed with enough responsibilities to exercise. What holds for women by and large, may or may not have applied to African women in particular, as the less hierarchic primordial societies may have shown more of an egalitarian make-up early on. In other words, it is rank and not order per se that the newcomers have sought to usher in anywhere they would reach out to. Africa may well have found itself plagued by abject and aggravating poverty throughout its recent historydespite its being the conjectured origin of the humankind and of the early technologies for that matter. Not least, some of this retarded development may have lent itself to adverse natural and climate conditions, even though the prevailing cultures may have posited education as a somewhat privileged lotindeed something out of the ordinary as a distinctive feature of tribal healers and shamans. On second thought, Africa could be seen as one of the early origins of speech and systems of writing, be it Canaanite, Swahili, Phoenician, or Ethiopian to name a few and to let the Egyptian legacy stand alone. And yet, it is the indiscriminate and naive aggregate of African civilization that has been portrayed as a secondary developmental path, downright inferior to anything white Caucasianwhich is consequently posited as the single story, or even the sole privilege to decide what each particular narrative should be. Now, it goes without saying that the very myth of African coherence should be debunked first and foremost, prior to going any further. For one thing, there is no such thing as the African pathway of development, if only because the continent has shown to be very fragmented culturally as well as ethnically, let alone heterogeneous socioeconomically. There is a semi-Christian Africa, a mostly-Islamic Africa, and a slightly authentic Africa that should not have been expected to get rid of its pagan legacy any more than, say, Brazil or the US have managed to. In fact, these borderlines are as fuzzy as the are shifting, with the ISIL and Nusra herds nowadays demanding allegiance intermittently where they were either uninvited or challenged by moderate and competing institutional stories. Not least, there are regions in the Sub-Saharan neighborhood that have been unfortunate to confront the dual issue of epidemics stemming from poor water availability, with even superior baby nutrition formulas being of little help for lack of adequate sanitary standards. It would appear that the US also has infamous stories of once-thriving regions that have fallen into oblivion in the aftermath of de-industrialization and recent crises as jobs have been relocated away to low-cost economies back East. In other words, the flagship areas out West might well face complexity as well as turbulence far at odds with the expectations and the mainstream path.
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