If You a returning customer
Password forgotten? Click here.
If You a new customer
By creating an account at Tsehai Publishers you will be able to shop faster, be up to date on an orders status, and keep track of the orders you have previously made.
Click to enlarge
Rites and Rituals of Markets Old and New
Price : $9.95
Add to Cart
Add to wish list
The magic and myth of the marketplace came alive on March 29th, 2008, when Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California, was transformed into a global marketplace. Set in the University’s “sunken garden,” with its Sacred Heart Chapel luminous in the background, Wole Soyinka’s vast dramatic tone poem, Samarkand, was enacted.
The performance was set in the most fundamental spaces of all human contact: the market, the theatre, and the church. This is an account of that performance which literally included a cast of a thousand.
The evening of the performance was bitterly cold and, as the DVD reveals, extraordinarily windy. That night the campus of Loyola Marymount University was like an Aeolian harp, that sacred stringed instrument of the ancient Greeks, emblematic of the work of the poet. When the wind passed across this carefully calibrated instrument, a harmony of intervals could be heard as if by divine suspiration. So too it was thought that the poet was inspired by his muse to “sing in me” and so write in “the concert hour of the gods.” The vehicle or harp that night was a campus with a garden, a stage, and a Catholic Church in which music, dance, market fare, and poetry conspired. In one magic moment, the city and the world passed magically through the University, hearing “the music of the spheres tuned to a single chord,/A unison, to which the world awakes.”
Wole Soyinka was born on 13 July 1934 at Abeokuta, near Ibadan in western Nigeria. After preparatory university studies in 1954 at Government College in Ibadan, he continued at the University of Leeds, where, later in 1973, he took his doctorate. During the six years spent in England, he was a dramaturgist at the Royal Court Theatre in London 1958-1959. In 1960, he was awarded a Rockefeller bursary and returned to Nigeria to study African drama. At the same time, he taught drama and literature at various universities in Ibadan, Lagos, and Ife, where, since 1975, he has been a Professor of Comparative Literature. In 1960, he founded the theatre group, "The 1960 Masks" and in 1964, the "Orisun Theatre Company", in which he has produced his own plays and taken part as actor. He has periodically been visiting professor at the Universities of Cambridge, Sheffield, and Yale. During the civil war in Nigeria, Soyinka appealed in an article for cease-fire. He was arrested for this in 1967, accused of conspiring with the Biafra rebels, and was held as a political prisoner for 22 months until 1969. Soyinka has published about 20 works in drama, novels and poetry. He writes in English and his literary language is marked by great scope and richness of words.
As dramatist, Soyinka has been influenced by, among others, the Irish writer, J.M. Synge, but links up with the traditional popular African theatre with its combination of dance, music, and action. He bases his writing on the mythology of his own tribe, the Yoruba, and Ogun, the god of iron and war, at the centre. He wrote his first plays during his time in London, The Swamp Dwellers and The Lion and the Jewel (a light comedy), which were performed at Ibadan in 1958 and 1959 and were published in 1963. Later, satirical comedies are The Trial of Brother Jero (performed in 1960, publ. 1963) with its sequel, Jero's Metamorphosis (performed 1974, publ. 1973), A Dance of the Forests (performed 1960, publ.1963), Kongi's Harvest (performed 1965, publ. 1967) and Madmen and Specialists (performed 1970, publ. 1971). Among Soyinka's serious philosophic plays are (apart from The Swamp Dwellers) The Strong Breed (performed 1966, publ. 1963), The Road ( 1965) and Death and the King's Horseman (performed 1976, publ. 1975). In The Bacchae of Euripides (1973), he has rewritten the Bacchae for the African stage and in Opera Wonyosi (performed 1977, publ. 1981), bases himself on John Gay's Beggar's Opera and Brecht's The Threepenny Opera. Soyinka's latest dramatic works are A Play of Giants (1984) and Requiem for a Futurologist (1985). Soyinka has written two novels, The Interpreters (1965), narratively, a complicated work which has been compared to Joyce's and Faulkner's, in which six Nigerian intellectuals discuss and interpret their African experiences, and Season of Anomy (1973) which is based on the writer's thoughts during his imprisonment and confronts the Orpheus and Euridice myth with the mythology of the Yoruba. Purely autobiographical are The Man Died: Prison Notes (1972) and the account of his childhood, Aké ( 1981), in which the parents' warmth and interest in their son are prominent. Literary essays are collected in, among others, Myth, Literature and the African World (1975). Soyinka's poems, which show a close connection to his plays, are collected in Idanre, and Other Poems (1967), Poems from Prison (1969), A Shuttle in the Crypt (1972), the long poem Ogun Abibiman (1976), and Mandela's Earth and Other Poems (1988).
View All Products
View All Authors
Sign up for our newsletter
Copyright © 2017 Tsehai Publishers All Rights Reserved.