ECOCRITICISM AND THE AESTHETICS OF NIGER DELTA LITERATURE: TOWARDS A NEW REGIME OF LITERARY CRITICISM
The essay contributes to the extant scholarly attempts that have used Ecocriticism to survey the African literary topography. Ecocriticsm as a literary theory probes into the template of literature to articulate the position that authors can extend their satiric instincts to the extent of deploying eco-relevant textual materials to make nihilistic statements against governmental policy makers as evidenced in the Nigerian Niger Delta scenario. The paper draws, extensively, and purposively too, on Tanure Ojaide’s The Activist. It goes ahead to handpick very useful textual corollaries from notable plays and poems to justify Ojaide’s claim for ecoactivism as portrayed in his novel. Thus the selection extends beyond Ojaide’s oeuvre to make to buttress the justification for the application of the theory of Ecocriticism. The study draws the conclusion that if Ecocriticism is taken seriously in the evaluation of literature, vis a vis its presentation of the physical environment, then both the theory and Niger Delta literature are compatible bed fellows.
Keywords: Ecocriticism, Literary Criticism, Literary Space, Ecological space
Since literature plays a significant role in communicating the people’s experience through conscientious narration, Nigerian literature, particularly, literature from the Niger Delta region are deployed to reveal ecological issues as they affect the region and the country as a whole. This has given birth to ecocritical studies. – Kekeghe and Orife