African Primodial Society in Armah and Kourouma’s Historical Novels: The Binary Polemics of Yes and No to Retours Aux Sources

  • Anthony Njoku
Keywords: Historical novels, primordial values, disillusionment, retour aux sources


Africa remains a massive political wasteland after her independence failure. The foremost nationalists who became first generation leaders and their corrupt successors in the post-colonial era mismanaged the huge success in a disconcerting manner and Africa’s political, social and economic life was marked by irony and contrast. This dismal situation engendered hopelessness and scepticism which triggered off disillusionment literature. Should Africa return to her cradle of unspoilt spring of pristine and primordial values? Were these values really magnificent? Should we disdain her past and be thankful enough to colonisation and so join the global train? Ayi Kwei Armah and Ahmadou Kourouma offer different perspectives in their historical novels’ accounts. This paper reviewed the high stakes in retour aux sources spiritual movement against the call for Africa to brace forward. It concluded by stating that the authors’ parallel views are gnawed by the same virus—dissention (disunity) of which they accused the ancient society. But isn’t it natural for heterogeneous voices to delimit all known historical accounts?

Key words: Historical novels, primordial values, disillusionment, retour aux sources