ABSTRACT

The sheer volume of texts, prose, poetry and drama, which constitutes Nigerian literature today is enough to intimidate and dissuade the faint-hearted from the historical necessity and critical responsibility of coming to grips with the major issues that have agitated the minds of Nigerian creative writers in the last five decades and more. Judging by the number of novels published since Tutuola’s The Palm-Wine Drinkard (1952) caught the eye of the reading public, it could be inferred that Nigerian Literature (in English) deals with a myriad of concerns too hydra-headed to fathom. This paper argues, however, that the multi-faceted concerns in Nigerian literature revolve around some major issues whose recurrence brings to the fore the “progressive-regressive” cycle of banalities that has so far defined the nation’s experience in statehood. It posits further that until this cycle is broken, deliberately by forces within, the journey of Nigeria from “a mere geographical expression” to a solid nation-state may be a mirage on the horizon.


KEYWORDS: Nigeria, literature, issues, reminder, recorder, prophet