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Kamau Brathwaite and Christopher Okigbo

Art, Politics, and the Music of Ritual

Curwen Best

This book is the first comparative work of its kind to provide an extended analysis of the contribution of Kamau Brathwaite and Christopher Okigbo. It considers the poetic works of these two artists as they responded to the transformations taking place within Africa and the Caribbean during the Independence period. Some of the issues discussed include: politics and art, religion, spirituality, traditional culture versus popular culture, language and identity, literature and orality, cyber-culture and identity.
This book highlights some of the similarities and differences in the life and work of these two poets and examines various aspects of their style. It provides a clearer understanding of the stances these artists took on crucial issues that would shape the face of their respective societies way beyond the Independence period.
Contents: Brathwaite and Okigbo in Overview – Grounding: Background, Context, and Scope – Language, Culture, and the Artist – Creative Pathways in Selected Poetry by Kamau Brathwaite and Christopher Okigbo – The Okigbo Music: A Study of ‘Distances’ – The Kamau Brathwaite Music: Ritual and Tuk Aesthetics – ‘Something Like a Mass’: Ritual and Ceremony in Okigbo’s ‘Heavensgate’ and ‘Limits’ – ‘I Could Not Hear the Drum’: Masks and the Importance of Return – X/Self and the Second Trilogy: Harmony and Departures – Return of the Town Crier?: Okigbo’s ‘Path of Thunder’ and Labyrinths – Okigbo and Brathwaite in Cyberspace.