Calls for the late Chinua Achebe to be awarded a posthumous Nobel prize for literature have “gone beyond ‘sickening'” and become “obscene and irreverent”, Achebe’s fellow Nigerian author – and 1986 Nobel laureate – Wole Soyinka has said.
“Let us quit this indecent exercise of fatuous plaints, including raising hopes, even now, with talk of ‘posthumous’ conferment, when you know damned well that the Nobel committee does not indulge in such tradition. It has gone beyond ‘sickening’. It is obscene and irreverent. It desecrates memory,” Soyinka told Sahara Reporters. “This conduct is gross disservice to Chinua Achebe and disrespectful of the life-engrossing occupation known as literature. How did creative valuation descend to such banality? Do these people know what they’re doing – they are inscribing Chinua’s epitaph in the negative mode of thwarted expectations. I find that disgusting.”
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