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The Man Died: Prison Notes Of Wole Soyinka
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The Man Died: Prison Notes Of Wole Soyinka

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  245 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
The Nobel Prize-winning African writer, Wole Soyinka, was imprisoned without trial by the federal authorities at the start of the Nigerian Civil War. Here he records his arrest and interrogation, the efforts made to incriminate him, and the searing mental effects of solitary confinement.
310 pages
Published August 18th 1994 by Vintage (first published 1972)
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All crimes must be investigated, peace time or war time.

Three days later, unable to accept any longer the dispensation of prison walls I began the letter to my political colleagues. I use this term in preference to the other, 'political comrades', to distinguish attitudes to situations of conflict, to distinguish those who on the one hand believe that prison—to quote this immediate situation—is some kind of hallowed ground in which an inmate must not only obey the laws of the administration but
Jun 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

It is bizarre to think that a distinguished, world class literary pearl like Soyinka spent years clamped in gaol. But then again, so did other African literary giants like Kofi Awoonor (Ghana), Ngugi (Kenya), Jack Mapanje (Malawi) Mongani Wally Serote (SA) among others.

At least Soyinka’s incarceration resulted in this extraordinary book, a work so brilliant that it necessarily invites all sorts of superlatives. The full range of Soyinka’s literary talent and nous is explored in this work, with h
Nov 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
A savage, stabbing inquiry, not into human nature proper, but into human nature viewed through the concave mirrors of solitary confinement and human evil, stretched and warped into horrible familiarity. Soyinka is hard to read, if you read him straight -- this book is most effective when you enter into its twisting, doubling corridors and let Soyinka transform your mind and introspection into a prison of your own. Like most great books, this one works on several levels: an indictment of politica ...more
Lanre Ogundimu
Apr 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

“The man dies in him who keeps quiet in the face of injustice.” That's my favorite quotation from this well documented piece which focuses on the prison experience of Wole Soyinka

Oct 10, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The thing that sticks in my mind most about this book is this: In solitary confinement, living with the knowledge that he could be summarily executed at any moment, preserving his sanity by writing his thoughts down on toilet paper with homemade pens and ink, he devotes something like three typewritten pages to how much he hates oranges. This is totally peripheral to what is undoubtedly a great book, but that's what sticks in my mind. I definitely need to read more of his writing.
"In the beginning there was Void. Nothing. And how does the mind grasp it? A waste? Desolation? Nothing is cheaply within grasp from what was. But as the fundamental nought, the positive, original nil? As the immeasurable drop into pre-though, pre-existence, pre-essence? But then, the mind that will conceive this must empty inwards from a lifetime's frame of accumulated references, must plunge from the physical platform into the primordial abyss. Within which alas, lie the creative energies whic ...more
Ashraf Ali
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الكتاب ذاتي بعض الشيء وممل احيانا
The Man Died is an intimidating book, and an excellent one. I was most impressed by the sensory detail Soyinka records. His prison experience - I suspect the same is true for other prisoners, but I don't know - leaves him with nothing but sensory details to record. So it's extremely powerful, especially when he is fasting. (He goes a little crazy.) I've only read Death and the King's Horseman and some articles, so I can't really compare with his other work, but this was easiyl the most impressiv ...more
Aziza Aouhassi
Sep 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wole Soyinka.. The man died..
A rich experience of highly human level. You understand what kind of man is Soyinka through his struggling to maintain his humanity above all.
The book is an essay, poetry, a diary of a political prisoner, a man aiming wholly to liberty and freedom.. His struggle is of very noble humanity and it s worth reviving it and living it through the book!
the bracketing of existence is at its summit in this book. one of my best
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Awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature for his work that "in a wide cultural perspective and with poetic overtones fashions the drama of existence."
More about Wole Soyinka...
“The man dies in all who keep silent in the face of tyranny” 10 likes
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