LSi Reviews  


African Short Stories Vol. 1 Published!

African Short Stories Vol. 2: Calling for Submissions

Project Award Dedicated to Chinua Achebe

African Short Stories Vol. 2 Published!



African Short Stories II

Foreword to Vol. 2



IN our call for additional submissions to the second volume of African short fictions it was necessary to encourage the participants with a side note that while the gratification of contemporary African and world economy might not rest with our crumbling mainstream financial systems, however, the relevance of co-creating choices in which imagination overthrows the humdrum of existence imposed upon humanity by its own malevolence becomes the writer’s reward as a channel of higher paradigms -and harbinger of a new reality. Allied to the first enunciation of our objective for the premiere edition of this story project not to neglect the medium for artistic and educational development of ancient traditions and cultures, our efforts may well have crystallised an enduring tenet for the creative enterprise in Africa.

Here we are poised by the art of narration to upturn as we have seen in every time and place the status quo. The seemingly improbable thence becomes eminently possible as we join to creatively exercise and direct our powers not just as free-born citizens of our communities but active interrogators of our collective destiny in an infinite universe of being. This also is the inevitable direction of an ascending planetary order within our supremely enlightened and interconnected cosmos.

Now with the ensemble of literary creativity witnessed so far in both volumes we rest assured that the responsiveness among writers, as seen in the number of some wholly accepted and most other copy edited works from our archives, testifies to an enduring legacy of African story telling that is not inured by the ravage of leadership and betrayal of continent at the hands of a greedy minority currently being flushed out by the steady rhythm of change throbbing through the land and rendering redundant the corrupt labours of those vain and arrogant minions of darkness.
Indeed, it is a worthy point of note the encapsulation of thirty five stories in two parts arranged in the order of a progressive movement in consciousness that generally embraces a variegated theatric of African cultural aesthetics.

The first part inscribes the violence that has convulsed the very bosom of a beleaguered continent in the same manner that our planet has reeled from aeons of assault upon her equilibrium by the depredation of her barbaric humans. Thus as we see a ragtag army fleeing in the wake of a monstrous reptilian onslaught upon her peace it seems visionary appropriate that a clueless Nigerian leadership is the butt of the satire by one of her younger writers. Where most of these first part entries have come from West African contributors -mainly Nigerian narrators- whose depictions of present social trauma would seem ironically reminiscent of the violent cycle of the south that assailed the mental balance of her writers in the Apartheid years, nevertheless, our recoil at religious and political brutality against the very psyche of African men, women and children is not quite mitigated by the narrative mood and tenor of the second part where the telling yet incorporates some non-too-lighter and no less pervasive nuances of individual struggles both for the soul of Africa and the triumph of her humanity.

Yes, ‘something the snake sallied/ must needs be long, or wily.’ But it is with the new and vibrant notes of the second part coming from all corners of north, west, east and south that the present -and future- landscape is filled with sheer optimism for the intense creative experimentations of African writers. Understandably these hopes might come rather guardedly, with necks still on the grip of the shadows that fight the change sweeping the globe. Here our ‘bold victory’ is heralded with just one whistle blower, estranged and, yet, sounding the warning for ‘heaven and earth to hear.’ It comes like that ‘feeble, persistent knock’ of a baby in the womb of a maiden in desperation, or like our two teenage genii on the trail of their dreams from the sunset of mutual deceit ‘into the daylight’ of true becoming. And, yes, it comes also as that awesome ‘kindness of a total stranger’ which, with its humbling surprise, affirms the divinity latent in even our most harrowing existence. These literary experiments are compelling enough. They tell of talents that blossom in courageous hearts and minds from the farthest corners of Africa’s teeming talents.

Now and then let us with all high expectations cite these robust seeds of story telling here shown by our ‘newbies’ as signposts of the undying resilience and magical spirit of the African mind. And so by this understanding and profound sense of elation do we add a further word of gratitude to the Society of Literary Fellows, LSi, who in conjunction with the International Research Council on African Literature and Culture, IRCALC, may never be commended enough for these efforts to revive reading and critical interest in African short fictions and their transmission through world media.

We are also grateful to the writers and their agents whose late entries have helped to consolidate the materials archived for web and print network distribution while gladly extending editorial compliments and best wishes in future research and creative writing experience of one and all on board these volumes of African Short Stories.

Chin Ce - 06-2015
For the LSi.

Read the Preface to Volume 1

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