Karel Capek- apocryphal tales

I first read Karel Capek probably in 1974. I can recall meeting Odia Ofeimun, walking towards Trenchard Hall, just by the car park in front of the Theatre Arts department at Ibadan and I was walking in the opposite direction. We stopped briefly to talk. It is unlikely that he will recall this encounter. He…

Camino Peregrino

I had not previously heard the account that put St James as Jesus’ cousin. In the tradition in Santiago de Compostela, his mother Salome, was the Virgin Mary’s sister. This tradition makes Jesus more human, less divine and therefore, also just more believable. Santiago de Compostela is the third most important sacred site in Christendom,…

Fado at A Severa

Fado at A Severa. It’s all in the shoulders. Where operatic singers, clasp their hands together in prayer, the Fado singer, at least, at A Severa carries the shoulders slightly askew, one scarcely tilted downwards. It is as if all the pushing at empty air or the wagging of the outstretched forefinger in pop music…

Burmese Days

After the sun went down, the light became tranquil, somber, and some might even say sublime. The green field, the white of the cattle egrets, the brownish black colour of the water buffaloes, all became softer, less bleached and in the case of the buffaloes turned from an indiscriminate black to the hide brown, sable…

Chekhov: death and dying

There are quite a number of Chekhov’s short stories that deal in the business of dying and death:‘ The Bishop’, ‘Typhus’, and ‘A Tragic Actor’ are examples. However, my favourite is ‘A Dreary Story From the Notebook of an Old Man’. I suppose I am drawn to the story because our protagonist is an aging…