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Written Out of History: The Agbekoya Rebellion at Temporal Crossroads

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Part of the New Comparisons in World Literature book series (NCWL)

Abstract

This chapter engages with Toyin Falola’s 2014 memoir Counting the Tiger’s Teeth, which revolves around the author’s participation in the 1968–1970 Agbekoya rebellion. The Agbekoya was a peasant revolt driven by the impoverishment, high taxation and violence suffered by cocoa farmers in west Nigeria, which led to a violent upheaval against the postcolonial government. Falola’s memoir, however, refuses to reduce living history to historiographical document. Drawing on the author’s personal involvement in the rebellion as a young boy, Falola’s book presents a non-synchronous logic wherein different temporal orders coexist in dialectical antagonism: the time of history, the time of memory and the time of myth. The intersection between these different temporal registers vividly emerges through a recurrent figure of speech: peripeteia, which is adopted as important stylistic device in the memoir.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Liverpool John Moores UniversityLiverpoolUK

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