Suspense and Catharsis as Devices in Tragic Narratives: A Reading of Uwem Akpan’s Say You’re One of Them and Wale Okediran’s After the Flood (Published)
Two historical incidents, slavery and colonization, sculptured African literature to acquire a certain texture for which Charles Nnolim labeled it a lachrymal literature since its origins are founded in the reactions against the same incidents. This paper contends that African literature after the truce is still a literature of complaint, protest and tears as events since the lowering of the Union Jack and Le tricoloreon the continental soil remain, even on a larger scale, sadistic and horrific. It argues that UwemAkpan and Wale Okediran’s works are also lachrymal literature as a result of the kind of violence and horror which are their hallmarks. The paper analyzes suspense and catharsis as key devices that the authors deploy to convey home their lethargic messages of gore and fatal carnage. It is able through exposés on these devices open new vistas, establish common grounds as well as differences between the devices, stating that they are the most effective tools for the works in analysis in particular and for creating tragic fictions in general.