Reference : Ben Okri's The Landscapes Within and Dangerous Love: Vision and Revision
Scientific journals : Article
Arts & humanities : Literature
Ben Okri's The Landscapes Within and Dangerous Love: Vision and Revision
Tunca, Daria mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département des langues et littératures modernes > Philologie anglaise moderne >]
BELL. Belgian Journal of English Language and Literatures
Academia Press
The Linguistics / Literature Interface
[en] Ben Okri ; The Landscapes Within ; Dangerous Love
[en] In 1981, Nigerian author Ben Okri published The Landscapes Within, a novel about a young painter’s life and creative aspirations. This work, in Okri’s own words, “continued to haunt [him] and trouble [him] through the years, because in its spirit and essence [he] sensed that it was incomplete.” Therefore, he published a revised version of this early book, under the title Dangerous Love, in 1996.
By way of introduction, this article will briefly outline the meanings of these different titles. Then, starting from a close reading of the narratives, I shall argue that the major factors of differentiation between the novels are not to be found on the level of plot, but mainly lie in the importance given to certain statements, metaphors, and the degree of accomplishment of the painter’s work. Importantly, these modifications are paralleled by significant stylistic changes.
If language plays a determining role on the formal level, it will also be analysed as an important thematic concern of both the author and his protagonist. Indeed, the second version of the novel questions not only the appropriateness of English in post-colonial African settings, but also the relevance of language in general as a medium of artistic representation.
CEREP (Centre d’Enseignement et de Recherche en Etudes Postcoloniales)
Researchers ; Students

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