Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Let Us Go Behind the Door

My first short story to be published online will appear on StoryTime on Sunday, 31st May 2009.

It is titled "Behind the Door".

Storytime is an online publishing collective created to bring out new fictions from Africa.

Essay On Richard Feynman

There is an interesting article on the great physicist, Richard Feynman, written by W. Daniel Hillis for Physics Today, here.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Language of Porn, and other Ramblings on Language

Yes, you heard right. I am at present curious about the language of pornography. I want to know whether when the viewer picks up a video and presses play, the language of the actors have anything to contribute to the appreciation - enjoyment if you will - of the performance. Considering that there are different kinds of pornography, I would think that the answer would depend on what the viewer wants. Won't it? Well, since this is not an expose on the film genre in particular, we won't bother with expatiating the categories. But for the purpose of this inquiry, can we ask whether the actresses that speak French or Spanish please the viewer better than those who speaks in English or Chinese?

On a totally different but similar matter, I have always also wanted to know what language the referees of international football matches speak. For instance, a match tomorrow between the English club from Manchester will meet with the team from Barcelona, Spain. How would the players be able to hear the referee when he tries to warn a player without using a card. How would the referee be able to hear the players when they scream their grievances? One guess would be that referees are trained in the major languages of the world. But I doubt it. I think they only speak "cardese", a language based only on the colours of the warning cards. This should explain all those hand gestures, and angry mouthing of expletives by the players whenever they feel slighted. I once read about deaf people who complained about not being able to enjoy soccer without noticing the profanities on the mouth of players. I guess being able to read lips could have its own disadvantages. But even within teams, how do they communicate? Didier Drogba of Chelsea is from a French-speaking African country and is in the same team as Michael Essien of Ghana and Mikel Obi of Nigeria. Do they communicate at all in the dressing rooms. If so, how. If not, why not? How does Christiana Ronaldo speak with his coach Sir Fergusson at Manchester?

Questions, questions. Things I've always wanted to know.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Quote of the Week

A friend sent this to me via email last week:

"A poet who reads his verse in public may have other nasty habits."- Robert Heinlein

I hesitate to ask why, but I think it may have something to do with the speaker's resentment towards a sleight-of-hand effect of a good public performance of an otherwise terrible poem.

Who knows.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Indian Movies in Yoruba II

Here is the first opinion piece in a Nigerian newspaper on the phenomenon of Yoruba voice dubbing on old Indian movies. It's written by novelist Bimbola Adelakun.

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Day of Book Readings in Ibadan

I was privileged at the weekend to attend a reading in Ibadan organised along with a book tour by Auggust Media featuring nine new Nigerian writers and spanning four cities. It was one of the best gatherings I have attended in a while. Ibadan was the second city where the reading train has stopped on its way into the heart of the Niger Delta. There's more information about the programme tagged 9 Writers, 4 Cities HERE, HERE and HERE.

Now I have got a stack of the following new books to read:

I am Memory, a collection of poetry by Jumoke Verissimo
Night of a Creaking Bed, a collection of short stories by Toni Kan
From the Caves of Rotten Teeth, short stories by Igoni Barrett
To Saint Patrick, a novel by Eghosa Imasuen
Under the Brown Rusted Roofs, a novel by Bimbola Adelakun, and
The Poet Lied, collection of poems by Odia Ofiemun.

Just before Saturday, I had completed Tolu Ogunlesi's book for young adults titled Conquest and Conviviality.

The informal after-event get-together at the University Staff Club was an icing on the already pleasant day. It is not everyday that one gets to dialogue with authors, critics and editors over drinks and good music. Present were Sola Olorunyomi, author of Afrobeat: Fela and the Imagined Continent, Remi Raji, poet and author of Lovesongs for my Wasteland, Amatoritsero Ede, poet and editor of Maple Tree Literary Supplement, and moderator of Krazitivity, Toni Kan, telecoms exec, columnist and author of Night of a Creaking Bed and Songs of Absence and Despair, Eghosa Imasuen, author of To Saint Patrick among others.

Those interested in the itinerary of the 9 Writers, 4 Cities Book Tour should look up

The inserted photo has Jumoke Verrisimo autographing her book for the blogger. "From one writer to another", she writes.