Chinua Achebe

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Unoka went into an inner room and soon returned with

Unoka went into an inner room and soon returned with a small wooden disc containing a kola nut, some alligator pepper and a lump of white chalk.

I have kola, he announced when he sat down, and passed the disc over to his guest.

Thank you. He who brings kola brings life. But I think you ought to break it, replied Okoye passing back the disc.

No, it is for you, I think, and they argued like this for a few moments before Unoka accepted the honor of breaking the kola. Okoye, meanwhile, took the lump of chalk, drew some lines on the floor, and then painted his big toe.

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…Let me say that I do think decency and

…Let me say that I do think decency and civilization would insist that the writer take sides with the powerless. Clearly, there’s no moral obligation to write in any particular way. But there is a moral obligation, I think, not to ally oneself with power against the powerless. I think an artist, in my definition of that word, would not be someone who takes sides with the emperor against his powerless subjects.

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The price a world language must be prepared to pay

The price a world language must be prepared to pay is submission to many different kinds of use. The African writer should aim to use English in a way that brings out his message best without altering the language to the extent that its value as a medium of international exchange will be lost. He should aim at fashioning out an English which is at once universal and able to carry his peculiar experience.

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