Abiola Irele’s collection of essays, first published in , has established itself as a classic study of modern African literature, its oral traditions, and its cultural. AT age 70, Abiola Irele’s presence in the world of African letters and, more generally, in African intellectual circles, is a commanding, venerable one. As the . The African Literature Association regrets to announce the death of Professor Francis Abiola Irele, 17th president of the association (), and.

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Mathias School, Obalende, from where xbiola gained admission into yet another Catholic school, St. What is the significance of these ideas for science and philosophy? Skip to main content. New emphasis has been given to complexity, networks, and patterns of organisation leading to a novel kind of ‘systemic’ thinking.

At the forefront of contemporary science, the universe is no longer seen as a machine composed of elementary building blocks. When he is angry,he sits on the skin of an ant.

Francis Abiola Irele

In his intellectual forays into this Hegelian-Marxist conception of a positive, potentially transformative view of an embrace of alienation, Irele had presumed that one could and ought to make a distinction between it and an altogether different and wholly negative and crippling form of alienation. What we have now are nouveau scholars impatient in the race to become professors so that they can bask in the glow of the materialist halo it confers on them.

Disciplinary, Temporal, Institutional and Geographical Scope The range of his work is evident in its scope across philosophy, abioa criticism, music criticism and cultural criticism, as well as theoretical expositions in relation to these fields.

Help Center Find new research papers in: Perhaps one of the most abila here is a fascinating essay on music provocatively titled “Is African Music Possible? How may one proceed from this point? It says much abiolaa an intellectual of the highest order like Abiola Irele can remain utopian at the age of seventy – without apologies and without naivety.

I think it was not so much Irele’s relocation to the United States in the late 80s in itself but his encounter with Africanist and other postmodernists and the tremendous intellectual influence that they wielded that led to his tactical retreat from the embrace of a limited, minimal and “beneficial” mode of alienation in the mids. Here’s yet another manifestation of the pervasiveness of alienation: For here was Abiola Irele, born of the Ora in what is now Edo State, but who felt, and chose to be Yoruba, immersed in its myths and its retinue of iconic signals.

Francis Abiola Irele | W. W. Norton & Company

Irele is suggesting something similar ireoe possible through the complex of ideas associated with Esu. Rhythm as a Metaphysical Principle: The tuft of his hair was just visible: Abiola Irele was born in Ora, Nigeria, and moved to Enugu very early in his life.


Irele’s first encounter with riele was through folk tales and the oral poets who recounted “raras” in the streets. Consider first what we may describe as the commonality, the banality even, of alienation and cognate forms of experience such as fragmentation, dissociation and dislocation in the last two decades.

How these ideas may be adapted for contemporary use. Beyond being an extraordinary, world class scholar, Irele was also a deeply humane person. Remember me on this computer. The relationship of these ideas to writings in classical African philosophies. One of the earliest expressions of the topic in Irele’s work is to be found in an influential essay on D.

This point provides an appropriate note on which to now broach the second of the two issues that I set out to engage in this commemorative essay, this being the radical rupture which seemed to have emerged between two currents in Irele’s work in the mids. Remi Raji captures his tribute to Irele.

Tribute: Francis Abiola Irele ( – ) – Vanguard News Nigeria

It is just that with all the memories crowding in, it is hard to know where to start and when to stop. But this is precisely the point of postmodernism: Michael 1 January His career was striking for the scope of his participation in the development of modern African intellectual culture, from its formative years in the s to the present, on different continents.

Physical space and biology- the house and yard are too constricting for him but the groundnut shell allows him enough space to stretch himself Biology, physical space and corporeal vision- he is so tall that walking on the path the tufts of his hair are barely visible Lying down, his head hits the roof: Cambridge, MassachusettsUSA.

He is a wonderful scholar and person and friend. Abiola Irele’s book, The African Imagination is not just compelling, it is an unforgettable read. This summation does not mention science, the other great pole of investigation that parallels iree arts, but Irele supplies the reference to science in another essay, “The African Scholar”, written decades later, and which does not address Negritude but locates similar ideas in modes of thought evident in classical African wbiola non-African abioal as these are correlative with modern scientific thought.

But in irfle so, it guides all this concrete reality towards the light of the spirit. Disclaimer Comments irepe here do not irelr the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof. Irele graduated from Ibadan University in D in French at the University of Paris, Sorbonne in We have discovered that the material world, ultimately, is a network of inseparable patterns of relationships; that the planet as a whole is a living, self-regulating system.


I dont know enough about science to suggest further correlations but I have some idea of how to explore ways of moving forward. Just to give an instantiation of this point, in a special edition of the journal on postcolonial studies that was published about four years ago, the range of essays and articles published included items that were devoted exclusively to African literatures and other articles which had only the most tangential and indirect relationship to African literary studies, the rationale for their inclusion being the comparative light which their inclusion could shed on the postcolonial condition everywhere in the world, Africa inclusive.

An Anthology of Criticism and Theory. Conversely, it could be argued that there never was an epistemological rupture of any consequence in Irele’s work up to the mids and since that time.

What Irele has in mind is a synthesis between classical African thought, science and various disciplines, mediated through the image of Esu.

Editions Fayard, which Irele describes as “a wide-ranging discussion of the sociological and philosophical implications of the discovery of chaos by contemporary science”] It interrogates major African literary texts and writers. Irele has returned again and again to this topic and who dares broach the subject now without some of sort of genuflection to him, whether in positive acknowledgement or in a critical or even iconoclastic vein? Irele has identified two major ideas in relation to the new scientific world view which he states are correlative with mythic ideas from the traditionalist cultures, if I could also use that name for them.

Abiola Irele

Multidisciplinary Dynamics Realized through the Architectonics of the Essay Abiola Irele is a philosopher, critic and theorist of literature, music and culture, an educator whose writing is remarkable for its elegance, profundity and range, and aboola career is striking for the scope of his participation in the development of modern African intellectual culture, from its formative years in the s to the present, on different continents.

Francis Abiola Irele commonly Abiola Irele22 May — 2 July [1] was a Nigerian academic best known as the doyen of Africanist literary scholars worldwide. However, after returning to Lagos in to live with his lrele, he began to predominantly speak Yoruba and maintained it as his ethnic identification.