Decolonising the Mind is a collection of essays about language and its constructive role in national culture, history, and identity. The book. Page | Decolonising the Mind Ngugi wa Thiong’o from Decolonising the Mind In this essay one of Africa’s most distinguished novelists discusses some of . 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.

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After all, our imaginations draw from our creolized cultures, and our cultures have and have had their own approaches to aesthetics.

Decolonising the Mind : The Politics of Language in African Literature

Does the author choose to work in a local language or a major European one? The anthology will be a celebration of language, featuring fiction, poetry, visual art and various essays on the very subject of language. For my ngugl, the work of liberating Africans out of the English metaphysical empire and neocolonialism had to be done in African languages. We use cookies to give you the best possible experience. Most if not all colleges in the US, for example, have a literary journal for undergraduate and graduate students.

Writers residencies compete for prestige. We spoke Gi kttyu in and outside the home. Our appreciation of the suggestive magical power of language was reinforced by the games we played with words through riddles, proverbs, transpositions of syllables, or through nonsensical but musically arranged words. The two concepts are not mutually exclusive provided there is independence, equality, democracy, and peace among nations.


It is widely used as a means of communication across many nationalities. So for my first four years there was still harmony between the language of my formal education and that of the Limuru peasant community. Communication between human beings propels the evolution of a culture, he argues, but language also carries the histories, ngkgi, and aesthetics of a culture along with it.

But it is not the carrier of a culture and history of many of those nationalities. Why should literary criticism continue to draw its primary conceptual oxygen from European literary theories?

He went on to become a turn boy in a bus company. It was after the declaration of a state of emergency over Kenya in 1 that all the schools run by patriotic nationalists were taken over by the colonial regime and were placed under District Education Boards chaired by Englishmen. We need literary criticism in African languages.

Or conversely, those who understand translation as most desirable when coming from European languages into anemic African languages desperately in need of European linguistic and aesthetic transfusion.

In paragraph 1 5, Ngugi argues that a language has a communication function for all people who speak that language, but that it also serves as a carrier of culture for all those for whom that language is the mother-tongue.

He returned, without explanation, “to his familiar role as a critic of imperial European languages writing in English. Culture is almost indistinguishable from the language that makes possible its genesis, growth, banking, articulation and decolonisinv its transmission from one generation to the next. We followed the animals in their struggle against hostile nature— drought, rain, sun, wind— a confrontation often forcing them decoloniisng search for forms of co-operation.


This came with practical challenges.


Culture is almost indistinguishable from the language that makes possible its genesis, growth, banking, articulation, and indeed its transmission from one generation to the next” South African writers and intellectuals writing in African languages were getting translated into English as early as the late s and early s. There is first what Karl Marx once called the language of real life, the element basic to the whole notion of language, its decolonisihg and development: By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Only after Arap Moi was voted out of office, 22 years later, was it safe for him and his family to decolonissing. Thus a specific culture is not transmitted through yhe in its universality but in its particularity as the language of a specific community with a specific history.

Language was not a mere string of words. In short it remains a book of our times. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. What, then, did Decolonizing the Mindbring to the table? The negro is naturally inferior to the whites Thhe literature and orature are the main means by which a particular language transmits the images of the world contained in the culture it carries. In the spring ofJalada published and facilitated the translation of a short story originally written in Gikuyu by Ngugi into over 60 languages—47 of them being African.