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How Strange the ChangeLanguage, Temporality, and Narrative Form in Peripheral Modernisms$
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Marc Caplan

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780804774765

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804774765.001.0001

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Mendele's Mare and Soyinka's Interpreters

Mendele's Mare and Soyinka's Interpreters

Chapter:
(p.167) Five Mendele's Mare and Soyinka's Interpreters
Source:
How Strange the Change
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804774765.003.0008

This chapter compares two novels: Sholem Yankev Abramovitsh's (Mendele Moykher-Sforim) Di Klyatshe and Wole Soyinka's The Interpreters. Comprised of twenty-four chapters, Di Klyatshe parodies haskole by telling the story of Yisrolik, a would-be university student who rescues—in his dream—a mare from a band of juvenile delinquents. In this fiction, Abramovitsh shows the explicit connection between culture and power, placing the mare at the center of an unequal showdown between the putative maskil and the imperial state. Both Di Klyatshe and The Interpreters highlight the collapse of previous distinctions between tradition and modernity. The Interpreters stresses the continuity between tradition and modernity, the paradoxical oldness of independent Nigeria.

Keywords:   Sholem Yankev Abramovitsh, Di Klyatshe, mare, Wole Soyinka, The Interpreters, haskole, modernity, tradition, Nigeria, novels

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