HISTORY IN THE WORKS OF HELON HABILA WAITING FOR AN ANGEL, MEASURING TIME AND OIL ON WATER

HISTORY IN THE WORKS OF HELON HABILA WAITING FOR AN ANGEL, MEASURING TIME AND OIL ON WATER

ABSTRACT

Human reality has been one of the major concerns of literature. But human reality cannot be fully explored without history. However, history and literature have remained antithetical fields of study since we assume from the conventional notion of history as being all about the presentation of facts and literature, an untrue story. This study builds from the existing studies which have recently established a relationship between history and literature; thereby finding the trappings of history in literature. This report seeks to unravel the representation of history in the works of Helon Habila (Waiting for an Angel, Measuring Time and Oil on Water). It adopts New Historicism, an extrinsic theory that allows a study of literature from societal, historical and cultural perspectives. Thus, the literary texts are read parallel to the non literary texts that stress similar historical issues and times as those captured in the literary texts. The result therefore is that Habila through his fiction has captured history as:  Collective Memory, Information, and Instruction.