English Department Research Seminar Series

October 23, 2018   English Department

You are all invited to the English Department Research Seminar as follows:

Date: Thursday, 25th October 2018

Venue: Language Lab (Room M) Time: 3-4 pm

Speaker: Wesley Macheso

Topic: “We Were Born to Sadness”: Trauma and Existential Angst in Oluwasegun Romeo Oriogun’s Burnt Men


 This paper reads Oluwasegun Romeo Oriogun’s Burnt Men as a catalogue of both physical and emotional traumatic events that leave his personae alienated from their immediate environment. In his poems, Oriogun paints catastrophic images of chaos and destruction as metaphoric representations of the psyche of his personae, which is a terrain of memories that harbour multiple traumatic experiences evoking feelings of grief, loss, pessimism, and a general apprehension of the world, which leave the personae searching for a sense of belonging in a hostile universe. Through the conversations that the personae have with the self and/or their audience, Oriogun’s collection of poems demonstrates that one can only understand and appreciate human suffering and the tragic nature of existence by sharing experiences in the process of abreaction. In my analysis, I conclude that Burnt Men is a testament of existential anguish upon an individual’s discovery of the hostility of the universe and the tragic nature of existence.

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