Chinua Achebe

Literary Birthday – 16 November – Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe was born 16 November 1930, and died 21 March 2013.

Chinua Achebe: 12 Quotes On Stories

  1. If you don’t like someone’s story, write your own.
  2. To me, being an intellectual doesn’t mean knowing about intellectual issues; it means taking pleasure in them.
  3. Nobody can teach me who I am. You can describe parts of me, but who I am – and what I need – is something I have to find out myself.
  4. My weapon is literature.
  5. People create stories create people; or rather stories create people create stories.
  6. Storytellers are a threat. They threaten all champions of control, they frighten usurpers of the right-to-freedom of the human spirit — in state, in church or mosque, in party congress, in the university or wherever.
  7. It is the storyteller who makes us what we are, who creates history. The storyteller creates the memory that the survivors must have – otherwise their surviving would have no meaning.
  8. The emperor would prefer the poet to keep away from politics, the emperor’s domain, so that he can manage things the way he likes.
  9. We cannot trample upon the humanity of others without devaluing our own.
  10. If you only hear one side of the story, you have no understanding at all.
  11. The only thing we have learnt from experience is that we learn nothing from experience.
  12. Stories serve the purpose of consolidating whatever gains people or their leaders have made or imagine they have made in their existing journey thorough the world.

Chinua Achebe was a Nigerian novelist, poet, professor, and critic. He was best known for his first novel and magnum opus, Things Fall Apart, which sold more than 8 million copies around the world, and was translated into 50 languages. Achebe was the most translated African writer of all time. Nelson Mandela referred to Achebe as a writer ‘in whose company the prison walls fell down’. The recipient of more than 30 honorary degrees, he was awarded the Man Booker International Prize, the Commonwealth Poetry Prize, an Honorary Fellowship of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Nigerian National Order of Merit.

Source for Image,_1966.jpg

Carlo Bavagnoli, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 16th November 2012