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Imagined StatesLaw and Literature in Nigeria, 1900-66$
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Katherine Isobel Baxter

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474420839

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474420839.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

‘Written in the Interest of the People’: Representing the Law in Cyprian Ekwensi and Market Literature

‘Written in the Interest of the People’: Representing the Law in Cyprian Ekwensi and Market Literature

Chapter:
(p.107) 5 ‘Written in the Interest of the People’: Representing the Law in Cyprian Ekwensi and Market Literature
Source:
Imagined States
Author(s):

Katherine Isobel Baxter

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474420839.003.0006

Chapter Five examines how the law is represented and deployed in Cyprian Ekwensi’s Jagua Nana and People of the City and in a selection of Nigerian market fiction. The law and its transgression permeated a range of publications in the years immediately preceding and after independence. Fiction and non-fiction alike repeatedly engaged with questions of crime and punishment, and even invoked legal paradigms to explore sexual and emotional relationships. This chapter demonstrates how market literature sought to generate through its own imagined communities discussion about and regulation of the apparent lawlessness of modern urban life. In attending to the larger presence of the law in both high- and lowbrow literature of the period, this chapter shows how the law was shaped in the popular imagination at independence.

Keywords:   Cyprian Ekwensi, Jagua Nana, People of the City, Market literature, Nigeria, Law, Lagos, Crime

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