Saturday, May 1, 2010
The Center Will Not Hold
"There is no story that is not true," said Uchendu. "The world has no end, and what is good among one people is an abomination with others." Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe
Things Fall Apart is a truly brilliant book, and I don't know how it is possible that I hadn't read it earlier. It was on my list of books that I was always meaning to read. I doubt very much that I have anything to add to the large body of review and criticism that exists for Things Fall Apart. I can only urge anyone who, like me, has always intended to read this novel to go ahead and do so. The story of Onkonkwo is the gripping psychological portrayal of an individual man, but it is also the story of colliding cultures, and the inevitable tragedy that results from this collision. The novel is perfectly crafted; when I finished the last page I felt a sensation that was like being struck. I had to go back and reread the final chapter immediately; then I went back to the first chapter, the seventh chapter, and so on. Things Fall Apart belongs to that category of book that must be reread to fully absorb the impact of its artistry.