- Taschenbuch: 284 Seiten
- Verlag: University of Michigan Press; Auflage: New Ed (17. Juni 2004)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0472031325
- ISBN-13: 978-0472031320
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 14,6 x 1,8 x 23,5 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 2.969.231 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
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A Mouth Sweeter Than Salt: An African Memoir (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 17. Juni 2004
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"... a rich and often profoundly beautiful book.... There's little doubt that within the growing body of African autobiographical literature, this book is going to stand high." - Sunday Independent (South Africa)"
Winner of the President's Distinguished Leadership and Scholarship Award from the Association of Third World Studies and the E.J. Alagoa prize from the West African Oral History Association A Mouth Sweeter Than Salt gathers the stories and reflections of the early years of Toyin Falola, the grand historian of Africa and one of the greatest sons of Ibadan, the notable Yoruba city-state in Nigeria. Redefining the autobiographical genre altogether, Falola miraculously weaves together personal, historical, and communal stories, along with political and cultural developments in the period immediately preceding and following Nigeria's independence, to give us a unique and enduring picture of the Yoruba in the midtwentieth century. This is truly a literary memoir, told in language rich with proverbs, poetry, song, and humor. Falola's book is far more than the story of one man's childhood experiences; rather, he presents us with the riches of an entire culture and community - its history, traditions, pleasures, mysteries, household arrangements, forms of power, struggles, and transformations.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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To be honest, I wasn't too keen on this book at first. I thought it was cumbersome and almost redundant. The more I read, however, I realized that the style which Falola writes is something to be savored. Too often do we read books simply to get to the next word, sentence, page, chapter. Sorry for the corny cliche, but I think it applies here: The whole is greater than the sum of its parts when it comes to this book.
At first, the only parts of the book I enjoyed were the periodical African idioms and sayings. When I finally reached a point to where I could examine the totality of the message, I realized that interspersed in these memoirs is a much deeper understanding of Africa during a time of abrupt transition from a traditional culture to a foreign/forced modern one.
If at first you start to lose interest, keep reading. It's definitely worth it.
Falola's account suggests that he was already at the age of 10 a curious youngster and an astute observer of people, relationships and events. His early fascination with trains led him to experiences beyond his age level that were to influence his standing in his family and community. After an unplanned train ride and its aftermath, that created upheaval in the family, he was transplanted to another branch of his family in a more rural sector of Ibadan, the city-state in Nigeria's south-western region. Not having taken notice of the hierarchical structure of his polygamous family, he realized only then which of his "mothers" is his birth mother. There he also learned to connect with the rich traditions of the local people who have maintained much closer links to their past than those in the urban centre. For example, children are given an additional name by the family, a praise name (oriki). This name should establish a link to a real or imaginary hero of the past. Such names should enhance the young person's deep character and his ambition to emulate the past bearer. Like a young detective he tracks an old woman, different from any he had seen in the neighbourhood. When he is finally confronted by her, the outcomes are an important lesson for his life and future. These early influences shape his thinking into his adult life.
While the chapters stand as independent stories or essays, they flow together easily as a portrait of a person in his time and place. He merges the memories of his childhood with his comprehension of circumstances as an adult. Understanding of his roots and the culture instilled in him led him to study the cultural traditions of the Yoruba people and the history of the land. His reflections on how the two religions, Islam and Christianity managed to co-exist with the rich African traditions are as pertinent today as they were during the sixties. So is his criticism of the trend among the younger generation to denigrate their own culture in the face of western influences. [Friederike Knabe]
It wasn't all rosy, though, because Professor Falola touches on some sensitive topics about how traditional life changed for the worse with modernisation. that left me kind of sad. Another thing is, it left me looking back at my childhood in 90's with emotional nostalgia.
But his encounters with Iya Lekuloja has to be the highlight of this book. And I think this story, this memoir is not complete. Mr. Falola owes us more.
Lastly, I want to see more Africans of that generation write memoirs like this.