The title itself represents the enormous arc of time covering the long and awful years in African history that were traversed and endured. This wide span of African history reduced to just two hundred pages has given rise to doubts as to its authenticity as a novel even though it interpretes history creatively. His secondary schooling was at the prestigious Achimota College. Next at Harvard University he received a degree in sociology. He moved to Algeria to work as a translator for the magazine Revolution Africaine. Back in Ghana, he got engaged at the Ghana Television as a scriptwriter and later taught English at the Navarongo school.
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The title itself represents the enormous arc of time covering the long and awful years in African history that were traversed and endured.
This wide span of African history reduced to just two hundred pages has given rise to doubts as to its authenticity as a novel even though it interpretes history creatively. His secondary schooling was at the prestigious Achimota College. Next at Harvard University he received a degree in sociology. He moved to Algeria to work as a translator for the magazine Revolution Africaine. Back in Ghana, he got engaged at the Ghana Television as a scriptwriter and later taught English at the Navarongo school.
He then proceeded to Columbia University where he obtained his M. The place of origin, the home, is an unspecified sub-saharan African country. The story truly begins with the coming of the predators who bring in ruin. The first predators appear as beggars. Their pitiful appearance is misleading. Cunningly and patiently, they took hold using their religion to inspire and hold sway over the weak, turning them against their fellow Africans. Armah thus keeps showing the African to have contributed to the demise of his own culture by being ever so willing to deal with the [white] devil and by selling out to his fellow man.
The locals do not know how to protect themselves: This time again the predators came with force — to break our bodies. This time they came with guile also — a religion to smash the feeblest minds among us, then turn them into tools against us all. The white men from the desert had made a discovery precious to predators and destroyers: the capture of the mind and the body both is a slavery far more lasting far more secure than the conquest of bodies alone.
Success is limited. The next wave of predators are seemingly always at the ready. But the local never seem to get any wiser. The rulers for whom Armah reserves nothing but contempt are the worst.
The whites, coming after the Arabs, are not merely predators but destroyers — the armed colonial European powers. They had come determined to see nothing, to listen to no one, bent solely on the satisfaction of their greed, of which we had ample news. Among the destroyers are missionaries, too, with a different poisonous religion. Wise Isanus warns time and time again of the dangers ahead but no one listens. Did we not learn near the desert how priests and warriors are twin destroyers, the priest attacking the victim mind, the warrior breaking bodies still inhabited by resisting wills?
These white men, they do not want to be part of us. But here they have come claiming they have crossed the sea from wherever it is they come from just to do us good.
They are pretenders. They are liars. We have asked them for nothing. We should not have let them come among us. They have no desire to live with us. This white missionary thought there would be far greater profit in keeping the victims of the trade here on our land, having the kings and courtiers use them to mine and grow whatever the whites need, then offering the product to the white destroyers… Isanus said this white missionary would be busy finding ways to eternalize our slavery through using our leaders in a cleverer kind of oppression harder to see as slavery, slavery disguised as freedom itself.
The whites intend a long oppression of us. Or we could try to realize the way. We listened to Isanus. We did not know that the knowledge contained in his words was immediate, urgent knowledge.
We thought we would have time to absorb it, time to adjust to its meaning. We had none. Isanus tried to warn us but we misjudged him. We thought there was a distance between his words and reality, a space for us to manoeuvre in. There was none…. He warned us to stay completely clear of the new arrangements, the positions which had already become mere jobs for parasites.
And above time, courage to do what you conclude you ought to do which is more difficult…. Bloody interests feed such unnatural friendships.
You will live to be their victim. Enslaved, there is a daring escape from the ship followed by the rescue of the others. The white predators are thus beaten at their own game. Arms stolen from them are then turned against them. Inspite of continuing treachery, successes along with small movements emerge along the way. Much of this is dramatically related. It is a stirring often horrifying, often touching read. We are not a people of yesterday.
Do they ask how many single seasons have flowed from our beginnings until now? We shall point them on the proper beginnings until now? We shall point them on the proper beginning of their counting. On a clear night when the light of the moon has blighted the ancient woman and her seven children, on such a night tell them to go alone into the world.
There have them count first the one, then the seven, and after the seven all the other stars visible in their eyes alone. After that beginning, they will be ready for the sand. Let them count it grain from single grain. And after they have reached the end of that counting we shall not ask them to number the raindrops in the ocean. With the first person, the writer immediately creates the illusion of a speaker actually addressing a listener — in this case a reader, as posits Mensah.
What was the meaning of the way? But we also detect the use of another rhetorical device, that of rhetorical questions as exemplified below: Which shall we now choose to remember of the many idiocies our tolerance has supported?
Or shallow remembrance be of Jezebo, he who for the solace of his shriveled soul wanted all coming into his presence crawling on their knees. Or of Bulukutu, he who gave himself a thousand grandiose, empty names of praise died forgotten except in the memories of laughing rememberers? Through this device we are given the feel of a communal experience with the narrator involving the audience by asking them questions.
But indeed the questions themselves are disguised statements for they in fact do what they ask to be done. That the left hand should be kept ignorant of what its right twin is made to do… That the heart detached should beat no faster even when limbs familiar to it are moved to heinous acts. The wisdom of the sayings is warped to shock the audience into realizing the destructiveness of unconnected consciousness.
Armah sustains the effect of recreating in writing the speaking voice throughout the work thus making it one of the most oral works ever written. It is not just any speaking voice. It is formal and dignified and invested with authority. This is in the tone, the contemptuous tone in which the narrator discusses questions about the antiquity of Africans. This passage also exemplifies another device Armah uses to invest the narrator with authority which is the deep knowledge displayed about African things.
Ayi Kwei Armah
In , he returned to Ghana, where he was a scriptwriter for Ghana Television and later taught English at the Navrongo Secondary School. Between and , he was editor of Jeune Afrique magazine in Paris. He has lived in Dakar , Senegal , since the s. In Fragments , the protagonist, Baako, is a "been-to" — a man who has been to the United States and received his education there. Back in Ghana he is regarded with superstitious awe as a link to the Western lifestyle. Under the strain of the unfulfilled expectations Baako finally breaks.
2000 SEASONS AYI KWEI ARMAH PDF
Gardarg Anything by Armah is magical and spirit redefining. Portraying the warrior spirit of collective responsibility and survival,for Afrikan nations history interupted by invaders. Good style and well-written. Two Thousand Seasons is a story of triumphs of the spirit and the will, despite unspeakable horrors, oppression, and betrayals. So I no longer have my copy — and would have had it not gone missing!