Abstract

The various levels of rhythm in Achebe's fiction, from stylistic to structural and thematic, have been explored before this.' My project is a related one: it is to focus on the human body as a verbal signifier that encodes movement iconographically as a condition of culture. The complex kinetics of Arrow of God relates directly to a theory of action, from which develops a hermeneutic practice: reading as a dance of attitudes, criticism as participation.^ I begin by looking at certain key moments in the fictive 'history' of the body: the moment when the eye coincides with the knee; the moment of awkwardly sitting; the symbolic moment of decapitation; etc. And I move toward a discussion of masking and motion — for the critical context of posture and gesture is the dance, where we modify our attitudes as we partake in the resculpting and renewal of our symbolic selves, constantly, from one moment to the next — moving from frame to frame in the cross-rhythmic overlap of solo-and-circle.

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