Amechi Akwanya

PhD
University of Nigeria · Department of English and Literary Studies

Publications

  • Source
    Amechi Akwanya
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Language, the condition of emergence of the human form as man is in its ancient determination poetry, a fact memorialized by the German poet Hölderlin in the immortal lines, ‘Full of merit, yet poetically, man / Dwells on this earth’. This at the same time signifies that the conditionalities of this emergence are part and parcel of what it means to be human. Discussions of literature/poetry today, however, tend to take the paths linking it to society and social practice, to history, and to the being and intentions of the artist. In many of the cases, there is a loop that leads to what it may be saying to the present, to the reader. In thus treating literature as a means of doing something, an instrument in general, there is a forgetting and intensification of the forgetting of basic facts about literature. In this paper, we read Heidegger’s Poetry, Language, Thought to guide us in recalling to consciousness the being of poetry as a specific form, self-contained and self-sustaining.
    First Professor Fidelis Uzochukwu Okafor Annual International Lecture,, Anambra State University, Igbariam Campus, 2-4 October 2014; 10/2014
  • Source
    Amechi Akwanya
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: What may legitimately be expected of art, as for any entity whatsoever, ought to depend on the nature of the entity itself, since action follows from being. The first order of business therefore in studying possible applications of art must be to try and determine its identity. This has not generally been the case in the history of literary studies, although it is common in literary appreciation to read back to the text from notions about what art is supposed to do. From Renaissance humanism until the early twentieth century, little is said about the being of art; a lot more is heard about what it could do and the argument was frequently defensive and shifty, not proceeding from first principles. This paper turns on Hegel’s account of art as constituting adequate in contrast to immediate existence, whereby it is raised to the status of an aesthetic object. It is on this aesthetic dimension that the effectivity of art and a possible functionality in fostering a common humanity may be based. And if by means of the aesthetic attitude, the human willingly comes under the sway of art, practical interests are at the same time forsaken – hence the divisive and conflictual.
    First International Conference of Faculty of Arts, Anambra State University, Igbariam Campus; 09/2014
  • Source
    Amechi N Akwanya
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Literary studies continues to draw from Plato and Aristotle as the fundamental concepts of the discipline were identified by those ancient philosophers. But the usage of the concepts has remained in divided to the present. Notions like mimesis, poetry, and art which refer to the dimension of human productivity to which criticism is applied have passed into ordinary language and general knowledge and therefore seem not to demand special effort to learnor require technical treatment. But it is necessary to understand them both technically and precisely in order that criticism and discourse analysis of literature may be able to know their object in opposition to other objects. As well as instruments for use in discovering their objects, those foundational concepts of the discipline of literary criticism and discourse analysis of literature are also the working tools for the study of those very objects. In this paper, we shall look at the founding concepts together with a few others besides; we shall observe how they have been clarified in recent times by phenomenology and we shall also attempt with the help of axiomatic functionalism to present these updated meaning contents economically.
    07/2014;
  • Source
    Amechi N Akwanya
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The poetry of Lesmian is among the most striking of the entire modernist tradition. The format is often narration, but the incidents and the sequences that unfold are so far removed from human experience as to raise questions of overall intelligibility. As an order of words, the poems are also strange and alienating because the words are not always established members of the repertoire and often name entities and actions outside the realm of the knowable. As a result, meaning is hard to work out at any level literal or figural. But they always have an arresting quality that cannot be ignored. The readings available in English are not many, but the arguments for the ultimate cause of the poetry in a vision thought to be the author's tend to be purely speculative. In this paper, based on the understanding of poetry as a movement of thought, risked and satisfied, as Roland Barthes would say, the poems are seen as following the possibilities of existence beyond the exclusive antonyms, being and nothingness. At the risk of an epistemology having the entire oeuvre in its sights instead of the poems as individual and independent utterances, use is also made of the features which recur or re-echo across poems as threads to activate a dialogue between them.
    IOSR Journal of Humanities and Social Science. 07/2014; 19(7):2279-837.
  • Source
    Nicholas Amechi, Akwanya
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: T. Obinkaram Echewa"s The Land's Lord appears to be little known am ong African literary critics, but it is a narrative that explores the individual soul in such a way that it seems to reach far beyond that individual soul, achieving far wider significance. A reading of this novel based on the action represented m ay get caught up in the discourse and discursive practices of African traditional society and its familiar narrative strategies, whereas it is asking much deeper questions, questions of existence, self-cognition, and identity. One of the main characters of this novel, Philip, is centrally preoccupied with these questions. Sartre"s philosophy of authentic humanness is used in this study to make sense of Philip"s search, and to account for the other characters" struggles and the kinds of meanings they construct out of their experiences.
  • Source
    Amechi Nicholas Akwanya
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Chinua Achebe's Anthills of the Savannah has often been called a 'political novel' and directly linked to the experience of military rule in Nigeria, even though that country is not mentioned in the story. It leaves open the question what might be Achebe's purpose in such an undertaking. Would he be trying to tell the people what they already know about their experience under military rule, or to provide guidelines, the dos and the don'ts to keep in view for successful military rule, or is he saying that military rule is all right as long as it is responsive to the needs of the people? This way of reading the novel may have discouraged literary criticism of it, as it tends to end in inane plot summaries. This paper takes the view that Anthills of the Savannah is a literary novel, which demands literary criticism. The approach followed here is to analyze the metaphors of the work in such a way that its form as a text, a woven pattern is apparent.
    English Studies 12/2013; 4(10):486-494.
  • Source
    Nicholas Amechi, Akwanya
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apartis perhaps the most successful African novel and was recognized almost from its very first appearance as a world classic. One masterpiece is undoubtedly a great achievement for a writer; and few are able to produce more than one or two in a lifetime. In Achebe's case, where the acknowledged masterpiece is the author's very first work, there have been occasional remarks to the effect that it was a lucky shot, and nothing more. But the fact is that with all the attention mostlyon that first work, the others have not been given enough attention to determine their true worth. They certainly deserve serious and individual attention, each being distinctive as a narrative in terms of structure and overall significance and responsive to various different literary theories. Using identity theory, but thinking hermeneutically, this paper will shed new light on the author's five novels. The functioning of each major character at a critical juncture where the vital exchanges causing changes both in individual life and in his life-world means that notwithstanding the nature of the sequences in which they attempt to realize themselves, the works all have the seriousness of ‗historical' novels. With the combination of identity theory and hermeneutics, therefore, we shall be able to see more clearly the ways in which the different characters understand themselves and enact their identities in their different social environments, what roles they have and what these roles mean to them, the nature of the blockages they encounter in their attempts at self-verification and what the defeat of these efforts entails both to them and their life-worlds.
    International Journal of Innovative and Applied Research. 11/2013; 1(1):5-13.
  • Source
    Amechi Nicholas Akwanya, Emeka Thomas, Michael Chukwumezie
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest and Wole Soyinka's The Lion and the Jewel are plays often read for their social relevance, rarely picking up their classical resonance and discovering their deeper levels of meaning. As a result, discussions tend to focus on what might be the point of the play. In this paper in which we follow Northrop Frye in exploring comedy to its roots in myth and ritual, we shall examine the deep mythic forms that underlie the two plays. This enables us to see them as sequences re-enacting the spring archetype in which life and community are renewed and rejuvenated.
    IOSR Journal Of Humanities And Social Science (IOSR-JHSS). 11/2013; 18(6):2279-837.
  • Source
    Amechi Nicholas Akwanya
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: There is always a complication in the narrative process in Chinua Achebe's novels whereby the story though important in itself attains greater urgency in that it is puzzling out something about the character's state of mind and the compelling circumstances in which he acts. The story existents therefore typically include the figure of a witness, in addition to character and action. In the scale of values of Anthills of the Savannah, the witness is considered to be at least as important for the narrative as the character. By virtue of the actions they take, the characters are rendered solitary and spectacular, and the preserving of their story may be thanks entirely to the witness, but at the same time he probes motives and circumstances in order to try and understand. His insights are therefore necessary for an adequate interpretation of the narrative. In some works like A Man of the People, he doubles as the narrator; in others like Things Fall Apart and Arrow of God, the narrator is a different intelligence and the two functions must not be collapsed into one another, as is usually done in studies of these novels. The question, why did he do it recurs in Achebe's writings. We follow it in reading here to ensure that all the relevant insights are taken into consideration and an adequate interpretation attained.
    Okike: Chinua Achebe Memorial Edition. 10/2013; 50:104-123.
  • Source
    Amechi Akwanya, Amechi Nicholas Akwanya
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Chinua Achebe’s No Longer at Ease and T. ObinkaramEchewa’s The Crippled Dancer are two different narratives from the point of view of their orientations. No Longer at Ease is the story of defeat anda fall from respectability to infamy, while The Crippled Dancer narrates the success story of a child overcoming odds connected to birth and upbringing on the one hand and hostility from the rich and powerful on the other. In this regard, they seem to have very little in common to warrant a comparative study. But there are important links between them which need to be studied, as they lead to an understanding of the novels beyond the personal histories of defeat and survival and opening them to the wider questions of existence and the modalities of being in the world. These relationships are not just with regard to the temporal parameters of their action, which is late in the colonial era, with their countries at the threshold of independence, but also in terms of their total intelligibility, as the protagonists are faced with a fight for their rights of free existence demanding of them repetitive effort. This shared intelligibility is explained in a hermeneutical reading which connects the narratives to the mythic symbol of the labour of Sisyphus. In this paper, we attempt simultaneously a comparative reading of the two texts and a hermeneutical one that awakens the resonances to the mythic tradition.
    Quest Journal of Research in Humanities and Social Science(JRHSS). 09/2013; 1(1):7-15.
  • Source
    Amechi Akwanya
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Chinua Achebe’s fourth novel, Arrow of God, is a harrowing story of traumatic change in which a traditional society loses its cultural identity under pressures internal and external. Critical discussions have tended to focus on meddling by the colonialists and the character and decisions of the protagonist. The impression of facticity is strong throughout, and the result is that the text has generally been taken at that level. This paper applies the psychoanalytic concept of the unknown in exploring the text to try and uncover underlying patterns of significance. That would enable us to see the dimensions and far-reaching implications of the action of this novel and the depths of a many-sided protagonist who is probably the most fascinating of Achebe’s characters.
    International Journal of Humanities and Social Science Invention. 08/2013; 2(8):35-42.
  • Source
    Amechi Akwanya, Amechi Nicholas Akwanya
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Rilke’s Duino Elegies is rarely studied as one work. There are studies of some individual Elegies, especially the First and the Second, which are undoubtedly extraordinarily powerful poems. But the power of the whole is not dependent on these alone or on the few others which are also discussed. What is attempted in this paper is a study of the set as one work of art. Close reading of the poems hereis guided by the question, what is the loss or the wrack of which the poem as a whole or in its individual parts is the response; and itreveals a character with an anguished state of consciousness regarding his place in the world. The analysis of the Speaker’s condition is based on concepts derived from Heidegger’s Being and Time, mainly Angst and Sorge. But there is need first of all to pin down this Speaker and to characterize him. A grammatical analysis is undertaken in this paper for that purpose.
    IOSR Journal Of Humanities And Social Science (IOSR-JHSS). 07/2013; 13(6):34-41.
  • Amechi Akwanya
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In his article "The Father's Power in Breitbach's Report on Bruno and Achebe's A Man of the People” Amechi N. Akwanya analyses Joseph Breitbach's Report on Bruno and Chinua Achebe's No Longer at Ease in order to lay bare the underlying processes of these texts. Undoubtedly the patterns of struggle in the two texts are political, but reading them in exclusively political terms has the consequence that the works are of no further interest once the putative political agenda is identified and described. Akwanya's analysis discloses shared features in the two texts published within two years of each other. In Report on Bruno, there is a democratic system, where the people have their say but in A Man of the People they are kept in the dark about what is really going on and are manipulated and abused by those in power. Their resemblance is at the level of symbolism and this is what Akwanya attempts to unlock using René Girard's theory of mimetic desire.
    CLCWeb - Comparative Literature and Culture 06/2013; 15(1).
  • Source
    Amechi Nicholas Akwanya
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Literature continues to generate controversies as to what it is and what it is for. That is one of the reasons for the proliferation of “literary theories.” The notion is here placed between quotation marks because it does not mean the same thing to all the scholars in the field. Some regard it in the same way that theory functions in the sciences, where it focuses on the object it is associated with. For example, the atomic theory of matter is concerned with the internal constitution or the characterizing properties of matter. Others, however, are looking beyond the object towards the reader and the extra-textual environment. The approaches to literary studies which look beyond the individual work to outside phenomena are many and increasing all the time as new issues and concerns arrive on the social scene. Issues of climate change are fairly topical now; and criticism is already responding with such ideas as eco-criticism. The question of the identity of the literary object has to be kept in the front burner, so that it is not swamped by the many different interests which attach to literature from time to time. Bringing attention back to the literary work is the central concern of this paper; and weare doing this by way of the metaphors of perception often used with respect to the literary work as these suggest that the work is something to focus on, rather than to see through to something else. Finally, I elaborate the concept of integrityas an appurtenance of the literary text that attracts and holds the gaze.
    Philosophy Study 2159-5321. 01/2013; 3(1):76-84.
  • Source
    Amechi Akwanya
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Uses of the concept ‘national security’ are normally not strict in discriminating the ‘nation’ from the ‘state’ as is often the case in political theory. In this paper, therefore, the terms nation and state are used interchangeably, in Carneiro’s sense of ‘an autonomous political unit, encompassing many communities within its territory and having a centralized government with the power to collect taxes, draft men for work or war, and decree and enforce laws’ (www.anthonyflood.com/index.html). Whether we follow Carneiro in connecting the origin of these political entities to war and struggle for land resources or the ‘voluntarist’ account in Hunt and Sherman (1981) in which men are said to find it compelling in the interest of protecting their food sources to establish collectives, the position must be that issues of security have been central in statecraft from the outset. In the first scenario which is backed by archaeological evidence, the gains of war would have to be maintained by force and the threat of renewed use of it. Moreover, these early states, which survive today as tribes and ethnic nationalities, were expansive as they sought to win control of still more land resources. In the second scenario, with its echo of Rousseau’s ‘social contract’ the state would have emerged out of the bid to overcome a basic sense of insecurity over food and survival. There is of course the natural aggregation model favoured by scholars like Milton Friedman, in which human beings are said to tend by a natural impulse to organise themselves into collectives. In this paper, we shall examine the complexity and the changing imperatives pertaining to the management of national security; we shall look at the key issues currently at play in Nigeria, and those playing particularly in the Niger Delta area, turning it into a zone of crisis. There are significant moves made in recent times by the government to try and deal with the situation, including the launching of the Seven-Point Agenda: we shall see how far these are likely to go and make concrete proposals towards strengthening government intervention.
    National Programme on Human Resources Development for Enhanced National Security: The 7 Point Agenda Connection, Merit House, Maitama, Abuja; 09/2009
  • Source
    Rev Fr, A N Akwanya
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The 'overwhelming existence' in Rilke's First Elegy is a being of the Angelic Order, terrible because even friendly contact with a human can result in the unintended annihilation of the weaker existence. In Eliot's Ash Wednesday, the role of the overwhelming existence is sustained by divinity itself and the moral character of this being as reflected in the language of the Speaker is benign as well as holy and arouses fear in the Speaker because of consciousness of having offended. But there is also in these poems a sense in which the existence of other things lacking the dignity and power of the angels or of divinity exercises a threat the subject cannot withstand, yielding a subject who has only voice. The poetic acts performed in virtue of the utterances of these voices are purely lyrical, without admixture of narration. But there are significant differences. Rilke's lyric is dominantly exclamatory with the underlying tone of ressentiment, and the Speaker's manner of dealing with his predicament is by plunging as it were into the destructive element. By contrast, Eliot's Speaker's tone is supplicatory with an attitude marked by attritio cordis: he partially resigns himself to a situation he cannot help but he is simultaneously stating a basic demand which he expects not to be denied.
    Africa and World Literature: University of Nigeria Journal of Literary Studies. 11/2007; 6-7:1-25.
  • Source
    Akwanya, A.N
    Okike: An African Journal of New Writing. 01/2007;
  • Source
    Amechi Akwanya
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Literary studies has come to a pass where it is no longer certain that it is an academic discipline and on what conditions. First of all, the issues are confused. If literary studies is about social criticism and social commentary of the sort frequently seen in a great many of the essays we now read, there is hardly any reason to give this kind of preoccupation the formality of an academic department in a university. A great deal of newspaper journalism in Nigeria today is precisely about this. Social criticism in the public domain has the advantage of being up to date. The literary text is disadvantaged here, unless we are to do away with history and change altogether and maintain that life is pitched on a wheel of perpetual return, so that anything happening in Nigeria now can be made out even in Shakespeare, if we look closely. Secondly, we have come to a pass where persons trained in other disciplines are picking up literature casually at the secondary school level and are delivering it so well that their students score very high marks in certificate examinations. If the judgement of these examination bodies in this regard is reliable, there is certainly no need for a university department charged with the study of literature. It is surprising that these examination bodies and the school system using non-qualified persons to teach literature are given the sanction of authenticity by the academic literary critics handling literature in the same way as these others do. But we may have failed to notice that we are charged to study literature and are busy with something else!
    CALEL: Currents in African Literature and the English Language. 05/2005; 3(1):148-157.
  • Source
    Amechi Akwanya
    Okike: An African Journal of New Writing. 10/1999; 41:pp. 88-108.
  • Amechi Nicholas Akwanya
    The Irish Review. 01/1989; 7(1).

15 Following View all

37 Followers View all