Contextualizing Power Dynamics in Dul Johnson’s Deeper into the Night and Olusegun Adeniyi’s Power, Politics and Death

Published: June 2019

Authors:  Joseph Christopher C.P. & Joyce Onoromhenre Agofure

About Authors:  Department of English and Literary Studies. Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria

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This piece appraises the implication of power in selected Nigerian literatures. It is a comparative inspection of Dul Johnson’s Deeper into the Night and Olusegun  Adeniyi’s Power, Politics and Death. The paper quizzes the validity of both literary and non-literary texts as parameters for expounding the complex relationship between aesthetic activities and the Nigerian context. This proposition proceeds on the assumption that Nigerian history provides the background and material basis upon which both artistic dimensions have been substantially apprehended by these writers. Given these considerations, the study employs New Historicism, one of Poststructuralist theory, as a paradigm for probing both writers’ works, especially as it facilitates the foregrounding of such critical parameters as power, resistance, hegemony, as well as subversion, fragmentation to name a few and how these concerns are interlaced in the experiences of the Nigerian people. In this context, through the tenets of the theory, both texts have been deployed within a larger discursive terrain to establish how they constitute arty commentaries on the specific and general dimensions of the Nigerian space. This paper is at once a contention that is firmly drawn in New Historicist discourse, especially given that the boundaries between the literary and the non-literary have been dissolved and as such, both are substantially implicated in each other. Thus, by undertaking a trope in the theory, this study underscores that the chosen literary text (Dul Johnson’s Deeper into the Night) exist as associate material of coordinate relevance to the non-literary text (Olusegun Adeniyi’s Power, Politics and Death). It is in the fabric of these texts therefore that better kaleidoscopes rooted in Nigeria are fostered.