Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature

Decolonising the Mind The Politics of Language in African Literature Ngugi describes this book as a summary of some of the issues in which I have been passionately involved for the last twenty years of my practice in fiction theatre criticism and in the teaching of l

  • Title: Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature
  • Author: Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o BlancaBusquets
  • ISBN: 9780435080167
  • Page: 169
  • Format: Paperback
  • Ngugi describes this book as a summary of some of the issues in which I have been passionately involved for the last twenty years of my practice in fiction, theatre, criticism and in the teaching of literature.In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries Europe stole art treasures from Africa to decorate their houses and museums in the twentieth century Europe is stealingNgugi describes this book as a summary of some of the issues in which I have been passionately involved for the last twenty years of my practice in fiction, theatre, criticism and in the teaching of literature.In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries Europe stole art treasures from Africa to decorate their houses and museums in the twentieth century Europe is stealing the treasures of the mind to enrich their languages and cultures.

    One thought on “Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature”

    1. “Education, far from giving people the confidence in their ability and capacities to overcome obstacles or to become masters of the laws governing external nature as human beings, tends to make them feel their inadequacies, their weaknesses and their incapacities in the face of reality; and their inability to do anything about the conditions governing their lives.”- Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Decolonising the MindI’ve never seen colonialism described as succinctly as in the following passage: [...]

    2. اللغة الأصل موروث لا ينبغي التفريط فيه, ومفردات كل لغة لها خصوصية تُعبر عن أصحابهااللغة جزء من هوية الانسان, وبجانب انها وسيلة اتصال هي حامية وحاملة للثقافة والفكر والتراث من جيل لآخرالكتاب مقالات أصلها محاضرات للكاتب الكيني نجوجي واثيونجو يناقش فيها موضوع اللغة في الأدب ي [...]

    3. Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o had already published four acclaimed novels in English when, in 1977, he gave up the language as a vehicle for fiction. A few years later he published this polemic, which he said would be his last writing in English in any genre.Consequently, he's now probably even more famous among sociolinguists than students of literature, because Decolonising the Mind is a rare example of a top practitioner setting out a total rationale, complete with backstory and running examples, of th [...]

    4. In this work Ngugi wa Thiong'o bids farewell to his practice of writing in English, adding that he hopes translation will enable him to continue to communicate with all. He then explains the passionate reasoning behind his belief in the use of African languages by African writers.I have come to realise more and more that work, any work, even literary creative work, is not the result of an individual genius but the result of a collective effortTaking as a founding principle that imperialism and i [...]

    5. Essential reading. And re-reading.I couldn't even think about quoting this after 30 or so pages, just had to read and read - but it needs to be re-read."It is the final triumph of a system of domination when the dominated start singing its virtues"(page 20) "The European missionary believed too much in his mission of conquest not to communicate it is the languages most readily available to the people: the African writer believes too much in "African literature" to write it in those ethnic, divis [...]

    6. Decolonizing the Mind is integral, I think, to understanding anti-colonialist struggles. The western world understands colonialism in terms of the most visible aspects of a nation, namely its leadership. People fail to recognize the long-term effects of colonialism such as widespread poverty. Decolonizing the Mind reminds us of another of these aftereffects, specifically, the domination of language by the Western World. In a sense, the language barrier has enabled social apartheid where legal se [...]

    7. Decolonizing the Mind is integral, I think, to understanding anti-colonialist struggles. The western world understands colonialism in terms of the most visible aspects of a nation, namely its leadership. People fail to recognize the long-term effects of colonialism such as widespread poverty. Decolonizing the Mind reminds us of another of these aftereffects, specifically, the domination of language by the Western World. In a sense, the language barrier has enabled social apartheid where legal se [...]

    8. Gracias a los premios Nobel de literatura se pueden descubrir autores que de otra manera permanecerían ignotos por la mayoría de habitantes de la comunidad lectora. Tal es el caso del keniata Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, un excelente autor que, gracias a estar a punto de ganarlo dos años consecutivos, hemos visto publicados este año dos libros de la mano de PMRH en su completísimo sello Debolsillo; uno ha sido una reedición que tenían de su catálogo de Alfaguara, El brujo del cuervo; el otro, [...]

    9. An amazing book by a Kenyan author on understanding the psychology of exploitation and oppression by colonialism and imperialism. Its focus is on the exploitation of Africans by Europeans through the domination of culture, but its lessons are applicable to the struggles of all people.It's a must read. I learned about it from a Palestinian activist visiting the United States.

    10. I had the pleasure to read part of this work a few months ago for my Postcolonial Literature class and had been meaning to read the whole of it ever since. Now that I found some time to do it, I gotta say this is a MUST for anyone interested in the effects of colonization in African literature, fiction and theatre. Very thought-provoking and even more intense knowing this was actually Thiong'o's way of saying goodbye to writing in English.

    11. Subway book because Wizard of the Crow is too heavy for the commute.First reread in about fifteen years. So far I've discovered I completely misremembered at least one major point: wa'Thiong'o, far from being hostile about the translation of his work into English, welcomes it as a continued communication. He just refuses to make English his primary language of literary communication.This discovery is not particularly surprising, given how I've seen other white people misread and miscomprehend si [...]

    12. Ci sono domande che sono determinanti nell’universo della scrittura. Quale tipo di linguaggio è necessario utilizzare? Che rapporto esiste tra la condizione dei personaggi e lo stile con cui si esprimono? E come far convivere l’espressione linguistica delle varie epoche storiche con la contemporaneità dei lettori? Domande che sono alla base di quella struttura che dal Settecento si è formata con il nome di romanzo e che lo stesso Alessandro Manzoni si è posto per tutti i decenni di trava [...]

    13. المره دي رحلتي مع كاتب وقاص وناقد كيني،الكتاب دا بالذات عن رحلته مع الأدب الافريقي علي وجه الخصوص،مجموعة مقالات عن تجربتو في كتابة ونقد الأدب الافريقي،الزول دا بيدعو للاعتزاز باللغه الافريقيه الأم والكتابه بها في جميع وجوه الادب اذا قصه او مسرحيه او حتي شعر.بينتقد كتابات ا [...]

    14. Thiong'o explains how colonialism has deemed African languages unworthy of use - both by the colonizers and the colonized. He explains how a "cultural bomb" was dropped on Africa so the minds (and consequently the resources) of Africans were controlled. "Make them hate themselves," as the mission goes. This was seen in the schools where European languages were idolized, the streets where African languages became synonymous with the language of the peasantry, and at the prison cells were those Af [...]

    15. Decolonising the Mind is a fascinating and thought-provoking dissection of the effects of colonization in African literature through the lens of one of the most well-respected African writers. The book, Ngugi wa Thiong'o's last in English, traces the effects colonization has had on literature, theatre, and fiction in Africa and what has been done and can be done to create something more authentically and wholly African. It raises questions of self and culture, imperialism, and language through t [...]

    16. I took a class with this author. He's extremely intelligent and presents an interesting argument about the politics of language. In this critical theory text, he addresses the way the colonial process works on the cultural level (as opposed to the material, political, or even physical level). He encourages the use of African languages (rather than the language of former colonizers) in African literature. He also explains how his personal experiences informed his opinions on the politics of langu [...]

    17. Very thought provoking and insightful work. I read a book like this once long ago by a lesser well known author called Chika Onyeani, the book was called "Capitalist Nigger: The Road to Success: A Spider-Web Doctrine. While Onyeani's work may not have had the editorial attention Thiongo's work received, they both speak the same language regarding Western domination and the destruction of the African identity. Great read.

    18. Es muy sano que de vez en cuando alguien o algo te rompa los esquemas, y este libro lo ha hecho conmigo. África y su cultura es tan vasta, tan rica y tan variada que aun haciendo un esfuerzo por no recurrir a tópicos, por no seguir aquello en lo que se nos educa con respecto al continente y por no aprehender de/a los africanos tal y como nos los comunican la sociedad y los medios. resulta imposible determinar que la (las) conoces. O al menos yo consideraría poco honesto hacerlo.Conocí la obr [...]

    19. Llibre molt complet sobre la importància de la llengua pròpia en la configuració cultural, social i històrica. Respon de forma excel·lent la pregunta inicial però a la vegada deixa moltes preguntes sense resoldre (sovint perquè no tenen una resposta clara). Llibre cabdal no només pels països culturalment debastats per imperis col·lonitzadors com és el cas de Kenya, sinó totes aquelles llengües que en certa mesura es rebaixen davant llengües més potents en l'àmbit internacional co [...]

    20. Ngũgĩ's framework is overtly Marxist, tho not wantonly heady: Language is fundamentally social, & thus grows out of social relations, which are material relations. Imperial languages are the product of other material relations, & thus serve to alienate the colonised from their native languages & their own social beings. The committed artist, then, needs to work with these local languages—'the real language of humankind: the language of struggle'—developing them as critical & [...]

    21. عندما استرد الكاتب الكيني الكبير نغوجي واثيونغو اسمه الافريقي ولغته الافريقية، لم يكن يفعل شيئا استثنائياً، لأنه عبّر، ضمن مسار غالب على اختيارات الكتاب التابعة، عن محاولة، توصف احياناً باليائسة او المدمرة، لاسترداد الهوية ومواجهة الامبريالية الثقافية او الاستعمار الثق [...]

    22. Decolonising the mind is a perfect book that dares to touch on the subject many western imperialist and neo-colonized mind wouldn't find interesting. The subject of our African languages to be used in literal work has always been met with different forces both internal and external but still, they have remained strong. "But African languages refused to die. They would not simply go the way of Latin to become the fossils for linguistic archaeology to dig up, classify, and argue about the internat [...]

    23. Leer a Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o es revulsionar la mente. Su experiencia vital le lleva a abandonar el inglés y escribir en su lengua nativa africana como forma de rebelarse contra la más terrible arma del colonialismo: la cultura.Todas las personas interesadas en la cultura deberían leer este libro para hacerse conscientes de hasta qué punto nos conforma. También, para entender qué es el postcolonialismo, una tiranía de suaves formas en la que el mundo occidental no deja de estar -también- [...]

    24. Decolonising the Mind is a superb 4 part meditation on how European languages have colonized Africanist literature and criticism. Thiong'o's critiques this colonization in pursuit of identifying truly Africanist authors and bodies of literature. For anyone interested in Post-colonialism, this book is easily as important as Said's Orientalism.

    25. الكتاب يتحدث عن سياسة اللغة في الأدب الأفريقييدعو الى اعادة اكتشافها لانها هي الطريق لاعادة الحيوية في العلاقة مع ملاييين الالسنة الثورية التي تدعو الى تحرر افريقيا و العالم أجمع

    26. Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o's 'Decolonising the Mind' is certainly a seminal text, not just as regards to the study of African literature, as opposed to Afro-European literature, but as regards to other concerns as well, such as the politics of language, education, drama in a post-colonial state and so on, that have since become standard discussions in the study of post-colonial theory and novels. However, there were some points that I did not agree with (which is usually the result when an author ten [...]

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