The African critic re-reading Ama Ata Aidoo's Our Sister Ki/ljoy1 in Europe's year of Our Lord 1992 is, more than most, enjoined to relate the novel, in a mode of maximal irony, to the ambience of triumphalism that has marked much of the year. For 1992 commemorates the five hundredth anniversary of what might be described as the mother of all voyages in the Western imagination, Columbus's historic 'discovery' of the New World. That classic moment of European history, lifted out of time altogether in the rituals and gestures of triumphal celebration, has functioned, and continues to function, as both metonym and allegory of the West's self-extension over a world desirably refigured in its image.



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