“A Dangerous Love”: Ben Okri’s Persisting Commitment to Literary Experimentation

  • Maurice Frank O'Connor Departamento de Filología Francesa e Inglesa. Facultad de Filosofía y Letras. Universidad de Cádiz


A once high-profile post-colonial writer, it is noticeable that the London-Nigerian novelist and essayist Ben Okri has all but dropped out of view as far as the literary establishment is concerned. While his earlier works still receive much academic attention and are deemed highly influential, critical engagements with his later fiction are almost non-existent. With this in mind, our aim is to map out the many transformations the author’s work has gone through and offer explanations as to the reasons behind certain negative receptions of the author’s work. To understand the new directions the author’s current writings have taken, one must analyse the totality of his novelistic writings as a single collective body striving towards a sustained renovation of the literary form. Our premise is that this experimentation might, contrary to its aim, be hampering the author’s success, and our study shall, therefore, examine in detail the experimental nature of these later works and offer a series of perceptions as to their possible shortcomings.Keywords: Ben Okri; post-colonial writing; literary experimentation; spiritual resource-bases; hybridism; New Ageism

Author Biography

Maurice Frank O'Connor, Departamento de Filología Francesa e Inglesa. Facultad de Filosofía y Letras. Universidad de Cádiz
Maurice O’Connor is a full-time lecturer at the University of Cádiz where he read his PhD on Ben Okri. His research interests are centred on African and Indian diasporic writing. His book entitled The Writings of Ben Okri: Transcending the Local and the National (2008) was published by Prestige Books, New Delhi and his latest article entitled “The Narcotic Memes of Bombay: Jeet Thayil’s Narcopolis” was published in the 2015 autumn edition of the journal Wasafiri. He is currently treasurer of the Spanish Association for Interdisciplinary Studies on India.


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