Quite simply, the best cultural review in the world
The perils of activism: Ken Saro-Wiwa
was right!Support The
The last time I visited the Nigerian writer Ken Saro-Wiwa in Port Harcourt, two years before he was hanged in the city’s prison, the naked corpse of a man lay on the sidewalk of the Aggrey Road, about a hundred yards from his office. Broiling in the noonday sun, the body was so inflated by the gases of decomposition that it looked as if it might ascend to heaven of its own accord, in a halo of black flies.
Meanwhile, the radio appealed for the “owner” of the corpse, which had so far remained unclaimed for three days, to take it away as it was causing a public nuisance. All things considered, however, life seemed to be proceeding around it normally enough, as if a naked corpse in the street were nothing very remarkable. Which in Nigeria, perhaps, it isn’t.
I mentioned the corpse to Saro-Wiwa, who was only too aware of its presence nearby, and of the unavailing radio appeals to the public spi ...
This article is available to subscribers and for individual purchase
This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 18 January 2000, on page 4
Copyright © 2015 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.comhttp://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/The-perils-of-activism--Ken-Saro-Wiwa-2733
E-mail to friend
A few reflections on To Kill a Mockingbird in anticipation of Harper Lee's new book releases.
by Gene Dattel
The South is largely blamed for the failure of Reconstruction, but what of the North's responsibility?
September 29 2015
Friends and Young Friends Event: Book Launch Party with Peter Pettus
October 02 2015
Friends and Young Friends Event: "The Corruption of our Political Institutions," a symposium
The Walter Duranty Prize for Journalistic Mendacity
Introduction to The Kennedy Phenomenon
The Kennedy Phenomenon: "Watching the Kennedy Train-Wreck"