Forest of a Thousand Daemons: A Hunter's Saga

Forest of a Thousand Daemons A Hunter s Saga His total conviction in multiple existences within our physical world is as much an inspiration to some of the most brilliant fiction in Yoruba writing as it is a deeply felt urge to justify the ways

  • Title: Forest of a Thousand Daemons: A Hunter's Saga
  • Author: D.O. Fagunwa Wole Soyinka Bruce Onobrakpeya
  • ISBN: 9780872866300
  • Page: 409
  • Format: Paperback
  • His total conviction in multiple existences within our physical world is as much an inspiration to some of the most brilliant fiction in Yoruba writing as it is a deeply felt urge to justify the ways of God to man Wole Soyinka, translator and Nobel LaureateA classic work of African literature, Forest of a Thousand Daemons is the first novel to be written in the Yoruba His total conviction in multiple existences within our physical world is as much an inspiration to some of the most brilliant fiction in Yoruba writing as it is a deeply felt urge to justify the ways of God to man Wole Soyinka, translator and Nobel LaureateA classic work of African literature, Forest of a Thousand Daemons is the first novel to be written in the Yoruba language First published in Nigeria in 1939, it is one of that country s most revered and widely read works, and its influence on Nigerian literature is profound, most notably in the works of Amos Tutuola.A triumph of the mythic imagination, the narrative unfolds in a landscape where, true to Yoruba cosmology, human, natural, and supernatural beings are compellingly and wonderfully alive at once a world of warriors, sages and kings magical trees and snake people spirits, Ghommids, and bog trolls Here are the adventures of Akara ogun son of a brave warrior and wicked witch as he journeys into the forest, encountering and dealing with all too real unforeseen forces, engaging in dynamic spiritual and moral relationships with personifications of his fate, projections of the terrors that haunt man.Distinguished Nobel Prize winning author Wole Soyinka offers a supple and elegant translation and provides an essay on the special challenges of translating Fagunwa from the Yoruba into English, along with a glossary of Yoruba and unfamiliar words.With illustrations by acclaimed Nigerian printmaker Bruce Onobrakpeya.Daniel Orowole Fagunwa was born in western Nigeria in 1903 He died in a motorcycle accident in 1963.Praise for Forest of a Thousand Daemons A deep tale of the spirit a classic of the African imagination Ben Okri Fagunwa is as important to the Nigerian imagination as Grimm s tales to the Western imagination Except that Fagunwa s book is not a collection of oral tales, but an original modern novel, one that sets out to test the limits of the form of the novel, the range of myth and its overlap into daily life Soyinka offers us not a simple translation but a complex and truly respectful re rendering With this tender touch by Soyinka, Fagunwa s book comes alive reanimated in this new language Beautiful, important and endlessly fascinating A must read Chris Abani, author of The Virgin of Flames and The Secret History of Las VegasPraise for the contributors The work of Fagunwa stands at the head of creative writing in the Yor b language and exerts the most pervasive influence on every category of Yor b literary expression He responded early to the need for a literature in the vernacular, at a moment when a new cultural consciousness began to emerge out of changing social conditions Abiola Irele, scholar of African literature Among the Africans who deserve some kind of secular sainthood is Wole Soyinka The New York Times Mr Onobrakpeya is one of the best known and most prolific African printmakers The New York Times

    One thought on “Forest of a Thousand Daemons: A Hunter's Saga”

    1. Amos Tutuola's The Palm-Wine Drinkard & My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, in their richly-imagined record of the Yoruba spirit world running alongside modern life, seemed totally unprecedented and fresh when they appeared in the 50s. But Tutuola had an advantage -- he wrote in English and quickly noticed and brought to international attention.But he has a clear forerunner -- D.O. Fagunwa, who was channeling Yoruba myth into gorgeous novels as early as 1938, with this, his debut and the first no [...]

    2. Fairy tales: stories with moral and pedagogical intent especially towards the end of the book. The Adventures of Akara-Ogun in the Forest of a Thousand Demons talk about meetings with elves, half-animal half-human beings, spirits, warriors, kings and sages. The writing style is remarkable with an interesting use of terms and a rhythm well suited to the subject matter. Read in the Italian translation.

    3. An Ingrate will they call me if i fail to write this piece. Published in 1938-----------------------------------16 years ago, I remember my dad Olubunmi Famosaya would pick this book while on his way to work, flip through the pages with exceptional pleasure and burst into laughter each time he approached the end. He passed it on to me and well i was young and so I dint find anything hilarious about the characters unfortunately. I dumped the book to return to it when my brain capacity was mature [...]

    4. Funny and fantastic. In many cultures, stories and folktales are told not only to entertain, but also to pass on important lessons about life and living. Some of these stories are infused with magical realism; this makes them more memorable, and the lessons more so. This is what D.O. Fagunwa did; the stories do not merely tell of Akara-Ogun the brave hunter and his many adventures in the Forest of Demons, they also record important aspects of the Yoruba culture and tradition, such as religious b [...]

    5. More a collection of mythologies than a novel, Fagunwa's story is enticing in its primitiveness-- reminiscent of The Epic of Gilgamesh-- and Wole Soyinka's translation is masterful at preserving the oral cadences of such a tradition. Especially interesting is the metafictional aspect of this story, which places the events of the text as a retelling of the textual Hunter's epic experiences, but it is ultimately ruined by the decision to moralize in such a transparent manner, forgetting the tact o [...]

    6. Akara-Ogun's travels through the Forest of a Thousand Daemons represent adventures at their most fantastic. Warning explorations undertaken to be recounted. As the audience slowly grows, so does the moral tenor. Folk tales, fables, and other nation-building aesthetics are wonderful crime scenes.

    7. This translation of D.O Fagunwa's Igbo Eledumare by Soyinka is superb. The diction gives a picturesque translation of the original language.Soyinka is not just a writer, he is a linguist.

    8. After Tutuola's prominence, Fagunwa's gradual emergence into the light of literary history in English is both positive and essential to understandings of Yoruba literature and the West African traditions that continue to shape contemporary writing. Good times reading, too; these are well-told stories.

    9. A really fun read. I tore through it in a few days, excited to see what how the adventure resolved itself, and to get to the next adventure Akara-ogun would embark on. Each adventure was gripping, and the characters who appear in each, both good and evil, are captivating.I appreciated the translator's note at the beginning, detailing the work in translating from Yoruba to English, how to keep the approximate meaning in a different language system, and how to keep the meaning of names without mak [...]

    10. Overall highly enjoyable book! The writer does an excellent job being descriptive and painting a picture during each story. There were a few instances where the author was too wordy for my liking, however it didn't last very long. The various stories involved people interacting with animals and supernatural creatures, teaching each other life lessons. I could tell illustrations were custom made for each story, I really enjoyed these as well!

    11. An entertaining read, but very primitive. I don't just mean that in a racist sense, calling an African work "uncivilized." It's also primal. Reads very much like a directionless dream or myth, straight out of the collective unconscious. I am embarrassed to say how impressed I am at the similarities between Yoruba and Western lit.

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