Coming to terms with new ageist contamination: cosmopolitanism in Ben Okri's "The famished road"
de Bruijn, Esther
Indiana University Press
The paper refutes Douglas McCabe's essay "'Higher Realities': New Age Spirituality in Ben Okri's The Famished Road" for its injudicious attack on Okri as a New Ageist and "detraditionalizing perennialist" whose novel The Famished Road purportedly reinforces cultural imperialism and global capitalism. The paper reveals that McCabe's primary intention is to indict Okri for the latter's supposed misappropriation of the traditional abiku narrative and that McCabe's imputation of The Famished Road relies on evidence from without, rather than within, the novel itself. The paper goes on to consider Okri's suffusion of spirituality in the novel as a means of imparting an "enchanted" history. It suggests that notions of cosmopolitanism, in Anthony Kwame Appiah's sense, pervade the text and that characters like Dad and the Photographer can offer insight into individual attempts to manage the various, contesting ontological systems at play in an African culture.
“This journal article was published as de Bruijn, E. (2007). Coming to terms with new ageist contamination: Cosmopolitanism in Ben Okri's The famished road. Research in African Literatures, 38(4), 170-186. No part of it may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or distributed in any form, by any means, electronic, mechanical, photographic, or otherwise, without the prior permission of Indiana University Press. For education reuse, please contact the Copyright Clearance Center <http://www.copyright.com/>. For all other permissions, contact IU Press at <http://iupress.indiana.edu/rights/>.”
Ben Okri , Douglas McCabe , Anthony Kwame Appiah , New Ageism , New Age spirituality , Cultural imperialism , Global capitalism , Abiku , Famished
de Bruijn, E. (2007). Coming to terms with new ageist contamination: Cosmopolitanism in Ben Okri's "The famished road". Research in African Literatures, 38(4), 170-186.