He is hounded into madness by his family because what he brings back from his studies in America is not the instant return of material possessions and prestige which they expect of him, but a moral idealism which protests at the selfish materialism they have absorbed from Western culture. He is not caught between Africa and the West, but between the West and a vulgarly Westernized Africa, and reviles the place he returns to only insofar as it imitates the one he has fled from. The only help Baako receives in his tribulations is the companionship, spiritual and sexual, of the Puerto Rican psychiatrist Juana and the ancient wisdom of his blind grandmother Naana, whose prologue and epilogue encircle in a timeless frame the historical fragmentation recorded in the parallel linear narratives of Baako and Juana. The urbanized Africa depicted in Fragments is crazed by a lust for commodities and status, and the uncritical eye is overwhelmed by the aggressive beauty of externals: notably, empty titles, pompous-sounding sinecures, and the gaudy trinkets of Western technology, towards which the surviving religious emotions of awe and wonder have, in a faithless age, been driven for a correlative. For Brempong, the strutting "big man" Baako encounters on the plane from Paris, worth is measured wholly by "beautiful things" like his Dutch butane lighter which "seemed to have been sculpted entirely out of light". Fragments abounds in image-complexes: fragmentation, wholeness of vision and a saving blindness, walls between worlds.
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This sounds really interesting. Unfortunately for Baako, his family has high expectations. Fragments — Ayi Kwei Armah — Google Books I suggest you reread the book again as the theme of alienation is even much more prevalent in the novel.
Dec 22, David Hicks rated it liked it. Apr 21, Hattie rated it it was amazing. Baako is the protagonist in the novel. After a five-month hospitalization in Boston, Massachusetts, he returned to Ghana in Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Thus Armah confronts a key question that many Africans face on returning home from overseas. He currently lives in Dakar, Senegal. The following is my review on my blog That is the way everything goes and turns round. October 28, at 4: Mar 21, Philisiwe Twijnstra rated it it was amazing.
That bu the way everything goes and turns round. Katy rated it liked it May 20, March aji, at 3: I like the way the this author writes. He is not caught between Africa and the West, but between the West and a vulgarly Westernized Africa, and reviles the place he returns to only insofar as it imitates the one he has fled from. November 1, at 5: You are certainly right and you had the right words…thus…symbolist.
Jul 30, Damien rated it it was ok. But there are two leading metaphors. Mohammed Firdaoussi rated it really liked it Apr 27, I try to be concise but I am not one to hide things. See all 3 questions about Fragments…. He has taught at several universities in Africa and the United States. That is how all living things come back after long absences, and in the whole great world all things are living things.
Ayi Kwei Armah was born in Takoradi, Ghana, in To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: Above all, the novel has the characteristics of African cultural writing. One has to understand the symbolisms he uses in his works before understanding him.
For me, the bigger question after reading the book concerns the place of the arts say writing as in the case of Baako in the Ghanaian society? Notify me of new comments via email. His family, more pragmatic, expects an elite resume fragmenrs convert into power and wealth in the real world here and now. TOP 10 Related.
Fragments (African Writers Series)
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. As in his first novel, Armah contrasts the two worlds of materialism and moral values, corruption and dreams, two worlds of integrity and social pressure.
Fragments by Ayi Kwei Armah