'The White Man Laughs': Commentary on the Satiric Dramatic Monologues of Gabriel Okara

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Examined in the present article are two early satiric lyrics of Gabriel Okara—“Once Upon a Time” and “He Laughed and Laughed and Laughed”—which are the products of the postcolonial cultural war environment in which the issues of modernity, alterity (otherness or difference) and afro-authenticity implicated in Achebe’s ripostes on the bigotry of the colonialist critic were central. The tone of this discourse amongst leading African intelligentsia was set in the 1930’s and 1940’s by four fellow south-eastern Nigerian writers in their semi-autobiographical blueprints for African cultural emancipation—Renascent Africa ((1937)) by Nnamdi Azikiwe (1904–1996); British and Axis Aims in Africa (1942) by Kingsley Ozuomba Mbadiwe (1915-1990); Without Bitterness: Western Nations in Post-War Africa (1944) by Nwafor Orizu ((1915–1999)); and My Africa (1946) by Mazi Mbonu Ojike (1914-1956).



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