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The Task of Today and Other Seminal Essays

Bernard Nsokika Fonlon

Publication Year: 2012

This book brings together six seminal essays by Professor Bernard Nsokika Fonlon, essays first published mostly in the 1960s in ABBIA (Cameroon Cultural Review) and in the pages of leading newspapers in Cameroon. Preoccupied with the cultural dignity, humanity and freedom of Africa and Africans, Fonlon never contented himself with stating the problem. In a very Socratic and scientifically systematic approach, he proposed solutions as well. Patiently pedagogical, philosophical and steeped in the classics he convinced his readers through the force of argument. In ìThe Task of Today;î Fonlon invites Cameroonians and Africans to face the challenge of nation-building and development in a world where imperialism is far from dead and buried. ìRandom Leaves from My Diaryî shares his aspirations and challenging experiences as a young seminarian learning to be relevant to God and the Catholic Church. In ìWill We Make or Marî Fonlon is worried, and indeed frustrated, by the temptations of material pursuits and the love of money threatening to derail modern elites charged with the postcolonial destiny of African nations. As a member of the Cameroon National Union, in ìUnder the Sign of the Rising Sun,î Fonlon preaches patriotism and compromise. In ìIdea of Literature,î Fonlon expresses his passion for art as the pursuit of beauty and the sublime, stressing, as he was wont to do, that no race or culture has a monopoly of this aspiration. ìA Case for Early Bilingualismî invites Cameroonians to take advantage of their English and French linguistic colonial heritage, by embracing bilingualism in early childhood and playing a major role in an interconnected world where interpretation and translation is eternally needed.

Published by: African Books Collective

Title Page

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Copyright Page

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pp. iii-iv

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A Word of Introduction

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pp. v-x

There is in man an inborn thirst to know the facts about the world ,- there is in him the urge to seek what is good for his being, and to shrink back from what is harmful to his welfare; there is the desire, native to him, to give lasting expression to the feelings which well up within him, both when he is buoyed up and exultant and when he collides with misfortune; there is the deep-seated urge to reproduce and enshrine the manifold excellence that he...

Part I. Nightmare

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pp. 1-6

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Part II. Random Leaves from My Diary

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pp. 7-80

Back in 1945, at the close of my course as a junior seminarian in Christ-the- King College, Onitsha, where I had done my secondary school studies; an idea got into my head to keep a diary. The first entry in it is dated Thursday, the 13th of December, 1945, the very day I quit the school, after finishing the Senior Cambridge exams...

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Part III. Will We Make or Mar

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pp. 81-108

One year has rolled round since ABBIA came into being. In the very first number, in February 1963, an appeal went out entreating us to bear a hand in this undertaking, an enterprise wide in scope and deep in merit. And in answer to this call, we launched out with zest into diverse fields — history, ethnology, literature, religion, economics, education, language, the fine arts. It...

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Part IV. Under the Sign of the Rising Sun

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pp. 109-128

With the Morning Sun for Symbol, President Ahmadou Ahidjo and Vice- President John Ngu Foncha have won an overwhelming mandate from the Cameroon people.
If ever there was a date-making event in Cameroon history, this is it; for never before, since the hour when this country awoke from political slumber, has an agreement as spectacular and as unanimous as this ever been readied...

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Part V. The Task of Today

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pp. 129-192

The political chiefs, who, for fifteen years or so, have shared in shaping West Cameroon, and, who, over the issue of Reunification, split into two tendencies, have decided, at last, to come together once again, to form a new government, and to work together as from hence.
I was a personal witness of all that passed, before this point was reached, and I can testify that it was; move notable for the lucidness that was evident...

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Part VI. A Case for Early Bilingualism

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pp. 193-270

This is far from idle bragging. We need but a cursory glance at the story of the world to see unmistakably the tremendous power that language possesses to overthrow and destroy, to pull down and demolish; to plant and to build. Any movement that ever shook the world to its foundations, that ever sent kingly crowns rolling in the mire, had its writers and its orators...

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Part VII. Idea of Literature

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pp. 271-324

What is Art, what is Science, why are the Fine Arts fine, what are the intrinsic norms for classifying them in logical, hierarchical order, what the essence and substance of the Beautiful and the Sublime; what is Literature, what its intrinsic inherent characteristics, what its primordial purpose; are its norms of yesteryear, norms, thanks to which, certain writers of the past have become deathless; are these norms pertinent in our time and deserve careful...

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9789956727810
Print-ISBN-13: 9789956727063

Page Count: 334
Publication Year: 2012