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This dissertation titled: A postmodernist Representation in Ben Okri’s The Famished Road and Flowers and Shadows is premised on the argument that irrespective of their individual themes, novels are significant mechanisms of presentation or representation of thoughts and ideas through semblances circumscribed by narration or telling, all of which are contingent upon various representative modes. In the present context, postmodernist representation of necessity has been defined as an artistic as well as an aesthetic form to represent a social reality. When these attempts follow literary prescriptions, they are described as the literary representation of a given entity such as a nation, which is ultimately, the intersection between ideology and form in the text bringing out the salient issues – themes - into which the writing subject constantly disappears. This dissertation therefore demonstrates the relevance and applicability of postmodernist representation to the study of Ben Okris‘s The Famished Road and Flowers and Shadows. Okri appropriates materials and events using the protocols of narratology by refining and variegating the materials which appear aesthetically in their current literary form as novels. The findings reveal that; Postmodernist representation is of literary value on or about a topic, That the novel form is the best suited artistic form for the explication of postmodernist representation of the themes in the novels under study and finally, that Okri‘s The Famished Road and Flowers and Shadows are axiomatic of the centrality of Nigerian literature on postmodernist representation.
1.1 Background to the Study
This study is foregrounded using the theory of Postmodernism and literary
representation as an alternative dimension to the regular critical methodologies of literary
analysis and uses Ben Okris‘s The Famished Road and Flowers and Shadows as primary texts
for substantiation and exemplification. Essentially, the history of the novel in Nigeria, from
the earliest times to the present, has been an admixture of expository discourses on the social
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