The palm-wine drinkard and my life in the bush of ghosts. Home · The palm-wine drinkard and my life in the bush of ghosts. Palm Wine Drinkard - Download as Text File .txt), PDF File .pdf) or read online. palm. Thank you all and Godbless. iv ABSTRACT This project explores the Amos Tutuola's Palm – Wine Drinkard in terms of it's use of mythological icons. In particular.
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"The Palm-Wine Drinkard". PATRICK COLM HOGAN. ^ ' I N C E ITS PUBLICATION in , Amos Tutuola's first novel has received considerable critical. [Palm-wine drinkard] The palm-wine drinkard; and, My life in the bush of ghosts / Amos Tutuola. ISBN- ISBN 1. This classic novel tells the phantasmagorical story of an alcoholic man and his search for his dead palm-wine tapster. As he travels through the land of the dead, .
The noted poet Dylan Thomas brought it to wide attention, calling it "brief, thronged, grisly and bewitching". Although the bo ok was praised in England and the United States, it faced severe criticism in Tu tuola's native Nigeria. Part of this criticism was due to his use of "broken Eng lish" and primitive style, which supposedly promoted the Western stereotype of " African backwardness". This line of criticism has, however, lost steam. Is he ungramm atical? But James Joyce is more ungrammatical than Tutuola. Ezekiel Mphahle le has often said and written that African writers are doing violence to English.
A spell is invoked, time is reversed, the slate is wiped clean. All laws of the probable are flouted and everything is elastic. Things are most often described by the elements that mark them out, make them what they are.
The latter is a bare cranium that hires body parts and a nice suit and poses in the market place as a kind of Bryan Ferry in order to lure pretty young women. Events are compressed, time collapses, a decade passes in a sentence.
It is, appropriately, a drunken logic. The plot, such as it is, follows the eldest of eight children. He is an expert and drinks kegs of it a day.
He cannot even drink plain water any more. Inside the White Tree is a kind of hotel-cum-hospital with a great ballroom. Scale is immaterial in the bush. The transmission of folk tales follows evolutionary principles. Oral traditions enforce that each retelling of a story will mutate it according to personal and local bias and that the most mnemonic elements will carry from one teller to the next. Fantastic and grotesque details are the organizing DNA rather than psychological depth or moral reckoning.
Often stories will take delight in punishing the hero. These seem to be stories told for the sake of telling, for the sake of variation, imagination and invention. Like turn of the evolutionary dice, folk tales are always tweaking the seeds. It shares the same splashy colour, the incredible and the memorable. The Palm-Wine Drinkard is an intensely visual story, a vivid engagement with the imagination.
One impossible to convey in any other medium, even anime. The sparseness of descriptive detail works on the reader, like a parasite working on the cortex to produce vivid hallucinations. All other art forms would be too literal, filling in the spaces that Tutuola is able to exploit.
How would cinema, for example, deal with the great and elusive time span of this novel, expanding and contracting as it does? The Palm-Wine Drinkard is mischievous. At one point the narrator must act as a court judge on the hilarious and inspired case of a man who borrows money for a living. He puts great pride into his work. When a debt collector comes to claim a pound back off him, the borrower kills himself rather than fail in his occupation.
Without palm wine, Drinkard loses his happiness and his friends, but then realizes that he has a chance to get his tapster back: Old people were saying that the whole people who had died in this world, did not go to heaven directly, but they were living in one place somewhere in this world.
So that I said I would find out where my palm-wine tapster who had died was. Palm-Wine Drinkard, p. Luckily, he possesses a certain amount of magical power, or juju, with which he transforms himself and defeats, or escapes from, adversary after adversary. He finds Death living on an isolated farm, and Death invites Drinkard to stay the night. When Drinkard returns to the old man with Death in tow, the old man flees in terror without revealing the location of the dead tapster.
Drinkard uses his magic to locate and rescue the woman. The child drinks palm wine and eats food in prodigious amounts. He also possesses great strength and ferocity, which he uses to attack people and burn their homes.
The baby dominates the couple, eats all their food, and refuses to let them rest or sleep. They finally escape his clutches when they encounter three spirits—Dance, Song, and Drum—with whom they are compelled to dance for five days.
They then come to live among the beautiful and friendly creatures of Wraith-Island. Here, Drinkard works successfully as a farmer and gains some magic seeds once he makes a sacrifice to the creature-owner of the land that he farms.
The couple is physically tortured, but they finally escape. In the bush the pair encounter a talking tree with hands that beckon them to come inside. Within the tree is the palatial home of the spirit Faithful-Mother. After a year, however, the Faithful-Mother instructs them to return to their journey. Drinkard does not want to resume the arduous odyssey, but Mother will not let them tarry any longer, nor will she join them.
They come to the Red-king who wants to sacrifice one of the couple. He battles, and unexpectedly kills with a gun, the red-fish and red-bird that had been responsible for all the red color. All these horns were spread out as an umbrella. It could only fly to a short distance, and if it shouted a person who was four miles away would hear. All the eyes which surrounded its head were closing and opening at the same time as if a man was pressing a switch on and off.
Drinkard finds her in the new town of the redpeople, who are no longer red, and with whom he becomes reconciled. The couple lives there for a year while Drinkard farms with the magic seeds from Wraith Island and becomes quite wealthy.
The laborer is actually the head of all the bush creatures, and after a while he steals all the crops of the red-people. The stranger informs the king that the couple has murdered his son and that the sack they carry contains the corpse. The king captures the pair but decides to give them a week of enjoyment before they are executed. The real killer is confused when he sees the king treat the couple so well and, out of desire to enjoy such luxuries himself, confesses to the murder.
Soon the festivities end, and the killer is executed. The tapster gives Drinkard a magic egg as a present but will not return to the land of the living.
On their journey home the couple continue their adventures in the bush. Unable to determine a fair outcome, he asks for an adjournment of a year before deciding. Drinkard saves her by temporarily turning her into a wooden doll, and then with her in his pocket he turns himself into a pebble, which he manages to throw across a river and into his own town.
The town has fallen victim to a terrible famine due to a dispute between Land and Heaven over which has seniority and therefore claim over a mouse they caught together, which is too small to divide. Heaven has stopped the rain to show its anger, and the drought has caused the famine.
The magic egg that the Drinkard received from the tapster produces copious amounts of food and drink. Drinkard uses it to feed the people, who flock to his house from all over.
After eating and drinking their fill they start to wrestle and accidentally break the egg. Without more food and drink the people leave. In order to teach them a lesson Drinkard puts the egg back together and has it make whips that attack all the lazy people.
Even the hunters dreaded the Forest of God more than the Forest of Four Thousand Demons; and it was a law in our town that any hunter who had not hunted elephant must not go there to hunt, for it was the abode of wonders; it was where the birds talked like human beings, and animals bought and sold from and to one another; where many trees did not have roots, but looked fresh with evergreen leaves.
Mice were bigger than pouched rats, and snails were bigger than tortoise in the Forest of Cod. The gnome and hoodlumish spirits were friends; it was there that the strong headed snakes terrify the hunters, for the abode of the head of the entire snakes in the world was there. Fagunwa in Ajadi, p. Harmony between the domains Because of the sacrifice that Drinkard has advised the people to make to Heaven, Heaven and Land are reconciled, and harmony is reestablished between the two domains.
In this episode from The Palm-Wine Drinkard, Amos Tutuola is retelling a Yoruba myth about the confrontation between Olodumare—supreme deity and representative of heaven—and Oduduwa—orisa of the earth. In the myth, as in the novel, humans send the disputed animal as a sacrifice to Olodumare in acknowledgement of his superiority, thus settling the argument and ending the drought.
Both the myth and The Palm-Wine Drinkard reflect the high value that the Yoruba place on maintaining a harmonious relationship between the domains of Aiye earth and Orun heaven , with which the plot of The Palm-Wine Drinkard has much to do. An important part of the relationship between Orun and Aiye is the relationship between the living and the dead.
The Yoruba who dwell on Aiye consult as well as make sacrifices to the ancestors in Orun and to the orisa who dwell there and exert control over life on earth.
Yet at the beginning of the novel, Drinkard hardly notices when his own father suddenly dies. This is not the proper relationship, as conceived by the Yoruba, between the living and the dead.
The dead do not belong in the same domain as the living; their ways are different. In the Yoruba worldview the living should look to the dead for help and advice. This life-force flows from Orun to Aiye, from the orisa and the ancestors to the living, but in return Orun requires a sacrifice of a portion of that life-force. One must not be greedy, in the Yoruba worldview, and begrudge Orun its fair share. When Drinkard is cut off from palm wine, from the life-force, he must reestablish a connection with the world of the dead that he has neglected, which he does by going in quest of his dead tapster.
In Yoruba cosmology it is largely through the ancestors that good things come to the living—the dead in a sense serve as tapsters of the life-force that the living need to drink.
As a prodigious drinker of palm wine, Drinkard is like the original crafter of Yoruba-land and the Yoruba people: the orisa Orunmila. Orunmila is also known as the orisa of Ifa, the divination system whereby living Yoruba communicate with the ancestors and the orisa. His knowledge of divination gives him authority to communicate to humans on behalf of the supreme deity, Olodumare. Orunmila is a link between Orun and Aiye, between gods and men, between the dead and the living: he is the means by which earth, created by Olodumare in heaven, becomes habitable by human beings; and he is the means through which the ancestors in heaven communicate with their descendants on earth.
In the novel, Drinkard likewise serves as a link between Orun and Aiye when he instructs the people to sacrifice so that harmony between the domains may be regained. Those who make sacrifices, according to Yoruba beliefs, enlist the aid of another orisa, Esu. Master of languages and the orisa of unpredictability, Esu carries messages and sacrifices from earth to heaven, or from the descendants to the ancestors and gods.
Throughout his life Tutuola enjoyed hearing and telling folktales, and he used them freely in his work. And in fact his novel has brought Yoruba stories to many who would otherwise never know them.
There is a traditional tale about a disobedient daughter who defies her parents and insists on the mate of her choice, a man of beauty, actually a skull garbed in borrowed body parts. It whisks her back to the land whence it came, returning the body parts on the way.
Before the woman is rescued she promises ever after to obey her parents. Among other characters and items common to Yoruba folklore that surface in The Palm-Wine Drinkard are the monstrous child, the magic egg, and various monsters in the bush. Another Yoruba author who wove folklore into his writings is D.
The similarities between these works—which concern adventures in the bush—and the works of Tutuola are so striking that Tutuola received criticism from Yoruba reviewers for being too derivative. While Tutuola did not plagiarize Fagunwa, the major difference between the two is that Tutuola chose to write in English.
This brought his work into the purview of an international audience. Tutuola was considered an honorary member of the Mbari Club, a group of artists and writers based in the Nigerian city of Ibadan in the s.
This bamboo tumbler was as deep as a glass tumbler, but it could contain the palm-wine which could reach half a bottle. Having taken about four, my body was not at rest at all, it was intoxicating me as if I was dreaming. But when he noticed how I was doing, he told me to let us go and sit down on the bank of a big river which is near the farm for fresh breeze which was blowing here and there with strong power. Immediately we reached there and sat under the shade of some palm trees … I fall aslept [sic].
After an hour, he woke me up, and I came to normal condition at that time. However, the same qualities that were praised by English and American reviewers drew disapproval and even disgust from Nigerian critics. They regarded the language as a poor relative to standard English. Later African critics reversed such assessments of Tutuola and recognized The Palm-Wine Drinkard and his subsequent novels as vital works of fiction that reflect African concerns and traditions.
Atanda, J. Lagos: Ibadan University Press, Courlander, Harold. Tales of Yoruba Gods and Heroes. Greenwich, Conn. LaPin, Deirdre Ann. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, Lindfors, Bernth, ed. Critical Perspectives on Amos Tutuola.
Washington D. Olusanya, G. London: Evan Brothers, Tutuola, Amos.