Monday, August 11, 2008

A Struggle for Self Retrieval

Two days ago, a poet friend posted a link to the Penn American Center.

There on the top was a Nigerian writer, Chinua Achebe -- his pictures, his words, his voice.

The internet is an amazing thing.

Here's a link to a reading of Things Fall Apart, with a bit of Q&A after.

I transcribed a bit of it this morning:

Is there a connection between all will be well and there is no one for whom it is well --
the answer is yes there is a connection;
they are two perspectives on the human condition.
One is a prayer – the other an instructional manual -- one calls on and activates your faith the other your reasoning faculty the human mind accommodates the practice of faith and the application of reason.
Faith and reason need not be at war.
But they can be when we let it out an overrunned jurisdiction of the other.
When faith runs amok and overruns reason we call it, quite appropriately, superstition.
When it is reason that offends we call it hapless unfeeling.
Too much of anything – even a good thing – is, to say the least, unhelpful.
A conqueror’s old uncle chose to reason with him – to point to what was around him rather than turn to superstition and faith. look around you, he said to his suffering nation – ask my daughter Quinny about the twins she bore and threw away – he did not choose to say let us pray – he chose demonstrable evidence. I hope I will not be spoiling the story for you if I tell you the old man’s brilliant efforts did not save our conqueror in the end – but it may have helped a whole community – indeed a whole continent begin a struggle in self retrieval which is still going on today.

Reuters UK, UK - 18 hours ago
ABUJA, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Nigeria's main militant group repeated its warning on Sunday that it will target foreign workers with the country's biggest construction firm if it does not halt operations in the capital Abuja in the next 24 hours.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), which launched a campaign of violence against the oil sector in early 2006, first issued the threat against Julius Berger JUBR.LG last Monday to pressure the firm to resume work in the delta.

The Nigerian unit of German builder Bilfinger Berger halted work last month in the oil-rich delta after two German employees were kidnapped.

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