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Monday, October 31, 2011

With Sentinel and Saraba (2)

We started reviewing these literary magazines here. Please go and read the prequel of this post to follow the trend well and appreciate this series of post more.

With every issue, Saraba and Sentinel present written works of peculiar standpoints exhibiting starling performances from the established, the molting and the budding. After going through the rundowns this post will be featuring, follow the provided links of these sites to know how true my proclaimed assertions are. I make no panegyric. Your hard-drives on your reading gadgets are slipcases of these two magazines. Just go and read from them whenever you are online, their arrays are beautiful crafts of innovative minds.

The efforts that go into each issue of these two are gutsy and heroic. Of great allure are their artistic productions when you consider that they are delivered pro bono for the intellectual pleasure of the reading public. In expression of my dedication to the expensiveness of lateral thinking involved in art, especially in the written words, I have recently made personal commitment towards creating awareness for their existence through online and offline platforms. The online part I began fulfilling from the phase one of this review.  Offline: there are friends I have started various discussions with using these questions; "Do you know Saraba? Have you ever read from Sentinel?"

After this post, when you must have been made acquainted with the offerings these online literary portals churn out, I know you would readily become an initiate bent on winning more avid readers for Saraba and Sentinel. It is only then would you begin thinking through this tittle-tattle of mine in the reasonable sense. I thump my feet to affirm again; Saraba and Sentinel are proficient hands arranging the pieces of the marquetry of new Nigerian writing with new generation technology.

Slices from Saraba 9 Food Edition

As the norm is with Saraba, Dami and Iduma set the pulse for the collective works in the issue 9 with their opening editor's note. Their co-written editor's note always goes to reflect the mortise that exists between them, one which affixes suitably the different literary joints from the two co-publishers.

In this issue, Food is romanced with in varying works that try eliciting the importance of Food to human and how literature could come as close to it in analogy when the human mind is involved.

"Dodo and A Notebook" (Chika Unigwe)
How long will you go maintaining a habit? How far can you go in professing it? Chika writes about the favourite food she's been fixated on since childhood. Hers is Dodo, the fried chop of plantain. She also likes reading, a long time trait that balances well with her Dodo. Instead of smarting out of Dodo as adulthood tends to pare infantile obsessions to the minimum, she rather nurtures it into maturity. There is only one thing that accompanies Chika's Muse whenever she scribbles on her notebook – Dodo is it. When she claims Dodo is the food for Muse, I shake my head bitterly; wondering where my favoured palm oil-cooked beans with Agege bread stand if Dodo is ranked over them.

"Creativity of the Stomach" (Olaoluwa Akinoluwa)
There can never be a better personality without food. What you have is a despondent and forlorn look of utter dejection when you stay without it. Olaoluwa never thinks so when he sharpens his bladed weapon of creativity with the file of hunger-strike. He hopes to be the better for it as he settles down to work on his novel with only fluids replacing solid food. At the end of his self-imposed fast, Olaoluwa bitterly realizes that going without food can't make him more creative than he is. He comes to this understanding as various packs of juices litter his trashcan and numerous descriptive languages of food smear his writing during the period.

"Food, Again" (Novuyo Rosa Tshuma)
Novuyo bears her mind in a lapidary state. The way she philosophizes with Food makes one ponder on the complexity of Food in its various forms. The close borderline Novuyo draws between the smugness of the Western capitalist and the servile needy Africans is textually appropriated in the few words she crams her view into. Every time I read this piece, I pick out different slides of meanings from it. Novuyo's piece is one with a well related ambiguous tendency.

"The Pleasure of Swallowing" (Kola Tubosun)
Kola's nonfiction appreciates the very art that goes into making swallow of molded food. He details the arithmetic that takes place between the different regions of the mouth before such food is digested. Kola's contribution is an ode to his loved food of pounded yam.

Download Saraba 9 Food Edition here

Sentinel 7 is a matured collection without making forced claims of its fittingly-matched contributions. With few submissions in each genre of literature, it radiates with the great depth that is not usually accorded to compactness.

"Purple Hibiscus – Adichie's Debt to Achebe?" (Ahmed Maiwada)
Contrary to the comments that have been trailing this review, I love its clinical dissection of Adichie's first novel. The perceptiveness of the review displays the rich effort Ahmed includes in his research before arriving at his calculated conclusion on Adichie's Purple Hibiscus. On the first encounter with this review, I had this to say about it on facebook;

"A beautifully illustrated juxtaposition of Adichie's Purple Hibiscus with McCullough's The Thorn Birds. Analytic and straight forward. Polemic yet with astounding breakdown that uproots the bases of past purportedly incorrect evaluations about Adichie's first novel…"

"Pinchomie, the Distinguished Loot and the Banana Republic" (Esien Ekpe-Ita)
This is a real satire, unrefined! The humor in the story is well blended. Lengthiness in this story is quickly forgiven as the reader is taken through bouts of laughter that could result in permanent hiccups if not medically checked. This story is hilarious in its entirety just like Nigerian rulers are incredible in their governing. Esien speaks through a child to amusingly capture the shared banditry among Nigerian parliamentarians. The main theme is the recent matter on their state-fund-ripping remuneration.

"Late Twenties Woman" (Osayi Osar-Emokpae)
I consider poetry too arcane for my chewing. In the hands of the confused, poetry is a cloak of messy things covered, left to the perspired search of a committed reader. I dislike most poetry for this inclination. Osayi's poetry is really written with the vigour at the very centre of the matter it dwells on. Her messages are clear and not mangled in the transience of the verses they are in. Late Twenties Woman runs through the fulfillment a woman gets with the pride of locating her space.  It versifies the worthiness of a woman's wholeness in her own unpaired self, her wistfulness of things sacrificed to blasé disregard and joyfulness in the hindsight of the action she takes in her late twenties.

Read Sentinel Issue 7 now >>>

Still on this same road
True Talk isn't through with this yet. There are still some literary sites I am obliged to in kind and reviews.  By the way, do you know what NaijaStories is? What about StoryTime, can you tell me anything about it? Come around soon and let's get to those places I've just mentioned. Wouldn't you love that?

Do you know of any online literary sites? In the comment box, drop a few you think might interest me too.

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