jueves, 8 de enero de 2015


Algunas citas del libro de Wa Thiong´o, Ngugi, (2005), Decolonising the Mind. The politics of language in African Literature, James Curry, Oxford, Estados Unidos.

Cultural bomb

The effect f a cultural bomb is to annihilate a people´s belief in their names, in their languages, in their environment, in their heritage of struggle, in their unity, in their capacities and ultimately in themselves. It makes them see their past as one wasteland of non-achivement and it makes them want to distance themselves from that wasteland. It makes them want to identify with that which is furthest removed from themselves; for instance, with other people´s languages rather than their own.

Language as culture is the collective memory bank of a people´s experience in history. 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.
Language as culture is thus mediating between me and my own self; between my own self and other selves; between me and nature. Language is mediating in my very being.
Writen literature and orature are the main means by which a particular language transmits the images of the world contained in the culture it carries.
p. 15

How people perceive themselves affects how they look at their culture, at their politics and the social production of wealth, at their entire relationship to nature and to other beings. Language is thus inseparable from ourselves as a community of human beings with a specific form and character, a specific history, a specific relationship to the world

The real language of African theatre could only be found among the people –the peasantry in particular- in their life, history and struggles.
p. 41

Social life itself arises out of the contradiction between man and nature. But man is part of nature. Karl Marx said: “He opposes himself to nature as one of her own forces, setting in motion arms, legs, head and hands, the natural forces of his body, in order to appropriate nature to his own wants. By thus acting on the external nature and changing it, he at the same time changes is own nature”. Drama encapsulates within itself this principle of the struggle of opposites which generates movement.

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 weakness and their incapacities in the face of reality; and their inability to do anything about the conditions governing their lives.
p. 56

Dance, mime, song were more dominant than words in telling this story of repression and resistance. P. 58.

It is true that imperialism –trough its heritage of a highly developing science and technology, its amassing of enormous productive forces through a reorganization of the labour of millions under eighteenth and nineteeth century mercantile and industrial capital-brought to Africa the possibilites of knowing and mastering that world of nature. But at the same time it denied the conquered races and peoples the means of knowing and mastering that world. On the contrary their land were confiscated, their people often killed by a civilization that had wiped out populations and civilizations in America, New Zeland and Australia. Thus the very means and basis of a progressive ordering of their own lives were taken away from them. The elaborate systems worked out to cope with nature and with one another were often destroyed, leaving human beings at mercy of a social order more cruel and more incomprehensible in its chaos, its illogically and its contradictions than nature itself.

Capitalism and the development of science and technology introduced the possibilities of the conquest of nature: capitalism by is uncontrolled use and exploitation of natural resources ensured the virtual dominance of nature over man by way of droughts and desertification.

In the peasantry and the working class who are changing language all the time in pronunciations, in forming new dialects, new words, new phrases and new expressions. In the hands of the peasantry and the working class, language is changing all the time, it is never standstill
p. 68

Since literature, like religion and other areas of culture, is a reflection of the world of nature and human community, the outlook of a critic in real life will profoundly affect their interpretation of the reflected reality

No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario