Chinua Achebe – Things Fall Apart Audiobook
Wow! It is not so often that I indulge in such enthusiasm, but there, there, it must be recognized that this is a very, very great book, of the order of the exception. Per century, very few places in the world are able to produce a book like this one, because it takes a particular conjuncture of events, and among these places, it is still necessary to be lucky to have a Chinua Achebe under the hand.
For example, we French, as proud as we may be of our literature and its history, we cannot boast of a Chinua Achebe. Icelanders can, possibly Greeks and Italians can, and again, it’s pretty questionable for the latter two, but we don’t. The English, the Germans or the Spaniards either.
How to tell you ? To have a Chinua Achebe in the world, it would have been necessary that the conquest of the Gallic peoples by the Romans had been described to us in a rich and structured story by a local writer, an Aedui, an Arverne or a Rème, for example. He would have had to describe to us from the inside what the Gallic society (s) were and how the conquest took place, step by step. There we would have had a Chinua Achebe, but this is unfortunately not the case.
Yes, in fact, the only book I know of anything comparable is the Saga of Njáll le Brûlé, one of the Icelandic sagas of the Middle Ages which tells us about the establishment of Christianity in Iceland and the disruption it caused. throughout society at the time. She too had her hero, it was Gunnar in Iceland, it was Okonkwo in Nigeria. Besides, these two have a very similar fate.
Wow! I say it again because I can hardly believe it because it is so strong. What exceptional ethnological testimony! Thank you, Mr. Achebe, for having saved from oblivion as early as 1958 – that is to say before the independence of Nigeria – all this culture, all this tradition which has now disappeared for the Igbos ethnic group. Imagine if we had a book that told us about the Neolithic society that raised the standing stones at Carnac, imagine if we had a written record of the way of life at the time of the Stonehenge pilgrimages. Imagine the happiness that would be to be able to read from the hand of an Aztec the arrival of the Spaniards or the establishment of Islam in Central Asia as seen by an Uzbek at the time. Well that’s what he offers us, nothing less. That and, obviously, how it ended, hence the title.
The back cover quotes an African proverb which fits wonderfully to the subject of the book and which inevitably reminds me of Caesar’s Gallic War: “As long as the lions do not have their own historians, the history of hunting will always glorify the hunter.
“Inshort, we’re following the fate of a man with strong character, Okonkwo, a man who wants to rise in his clan and that is attached to the tradition of the ancestors. In the first part, the writer gives us a picture of this traditional society that has disappeared and, what is remarkable, without any angelism. It shows both its good and its bad aspects. He does not hesitate, for example, to show us the ritual of a human sacrifice in response to supposed oracles, exactly as they were to take place in Europe in Neolithic times and in Antiquity.
It is a living picture of rare richness. Parts two and three tell the story of the gradual establishment of whites, through religion and missionaries at first, but also and above all, by his armed wing afterwards.
Chinua Achebe, shows, demonstrates or demonstrates if necessary, that religion – at least the great monotheistic religions still dominant today – are and always have been elements of power and submission. Since Emperor Constantine this is particularly true of the Christian religion. Christopher Marlowe, a witness of the time, nonetheless thinks of the time of the religious wars of the 16th century in France. The religious radicalization that we are experiencing at the moment is just another and umpteenth avatar.
In short, I loved immersing myself in the yam culture, the way of thinking and the clan structures, with their own functioning which, I repeat, remind me a lot of the social functioning of pre-Christian Iceland.
Yes, so it’s a huge crush that this Chinua Achebe – Things Fall Apart Audiobook, a book that I had borrowed from my favorite library but that I will hurry to buy, because it is a book that I like to have on hand in my own library; a book of rare value. But of course that is only my opinion, that is, very little.