Beyond The Tirade: The Portrayal Of Kenya’s Historical Process In Miguna Miguna’s Autobiographical Works

ABSTRACT

Literature and history represent the morphing of social, political and cultural realities. The two employ similar techniques so that in a subtle sense literature is really an artistic reflection of history. The historical process is captured and transformed by literature. Miguna Miguna’s Peeling Back the Mask and Kidneys for the King have been dismissed by historians, the literati and even the common Kenyan as unworthy of academic pursuit. The commentators argue that being a barrister; Miguna lacks the skill to confront historical and literary issues. They argue that the tone of Miguna’s texts is so overly livid that it smothers objectivity. The researcher rebutted these conclusions. He believed that they are unfair unless a concerted exploration of the texts is done. The study, therefore, proposed to investigate how Miguna’s autobiographical works use literary strategies to portray Kenya’s historical process. The specific objectives of the study were: to identify and analyse the themes portrayed in these autobiographical works; to examine how the literariness of the autobiographies aids the delineation of the historical process in Kenya and to analyse the literary significance of the autobiographies in interpreting Kenya’s recent history. The study used New Historicism as a theoretical framework. New Historicism has evolved since 1960s. Marylin Butler and Stephen Greenblatt’s version, popularised in the 1980s, was used to found this study. The theory advocates the textuality of history and the historicity of texts. Butler and Greenblatt argue that history is conveyed through social discourses which include literary texts. As these literary and other discourses are studied, history is recreated. The interpretation of discourses influences how historiography is undertaken. According to Butler and Greenblatt, there are no facts in texts – literary or historical – only interpretations. This theory was found of relevance to this study because non-canonical texts and discourses such as Miguna’s, which are treated by the literati as anecdotal, are, under this theory, given the same weight as the canonical ones. The scope of this study was the portrayal of the historical process in Kenya as captured in Peeling Back the Mask and Kidneys for the King. The study applied analytical research design. This design enabled this study do an in-depth analysis of the historicity of the autobiographical works. The data used for this study was collected from both primary and secondary sources. Primary data was collected through a close study of the texts. Information that portrayed Kenya’s historical process was extracted and analysed. Secondary data that touch on literary portrayal of the historical process was gathered from library research. Relevant journals, periodicals, relevant books and the internet were referred to. Both sets of data were analysed with reference to the study objectives and presented in analytical essays. The study used purposive sampling to select a hundred percent of Miguna’s autobiographies. Peeling Back the Mask was published in 2012 while Kidneys for the King came out in 2013. Rather than choose one, both works were purposefully selected because they both extensively capture Kenya’s historical process and so were information-rich texts that provided the researcher with a wider base from which to found the study and prop his arguments. This study has found, among others, that Miguna makes a fair attempt at using literary devices to portray Kenya’s historical process. It has found, however, that the shrillness of his tone at times impinges on a balanced portrayal of the historical process. The study concludes that it was erroneous to dismiss Miguna’s autobiographies as of no worth to the historian, the literati or the citizen. This study hopes to add to the corpus of the growing literature on Miguna’s works as well as contribute to our understanding of Kenya’s recent history having elucidated Miguna’s work on it. The findings, recommendations and suggestions of this study, it is hoped, will present useful insights for students of literature who wish to do a study on Peeling Back the Mask and Kidneys for the King.

Subscribe to access this work and thousands more
Overall Rating

0

5 Star
(0)
4 Star
(0)
3 Star
(0)
2 Star
(0)
1 Star
(0)
APA

OWUOR, O (2021). Beyond The Tirade: The Portrayal Of Kenya’s Historical Process In Miguna Miguna’s Autobiographical Works. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/beyond-the-tirade-the-portrayal-of-kenya-s-historical-process-in-miguna-miguna-s-autobiographical-works

MLA 8th

OWUOR, OGOLA "Beyond The Tirade: The Portrayal Of Kenya’s Historical Process In Miguna Miguna’s Autobiographical Works" Afribary. Afribary, 06 May. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/beyond-the-tirade-the-portrayal-of-kenya-s-historical-process-in-miguna-miguna-s-autobiographical-works. Accessed 25 Jun. 2024.

MLA7

OWUOR, OGOLA . "Beyond The Tirade: The Portrayal Of Kenya’s Historical Process In Miguna Miguna’s Autobiographical Works". Afribary, Afribary, 06 May. 2021. Web. 25 Jun. 2024. < https://afribary.com/works/beyond-the-tirade-the-portrayal-of-kenya-s-historical-process-in-miguna-miguna-s-autobiographical-works >.

Chicago

OWUOR, OGOLA . "Beyond The Tirade: The Portrayal Of Kenya’s Historical Process In Miguna Miguna’s Autobiographical Works" Afribary (2021). Accessed June 25, 2024. https://afribary.com/works/beyond-the-tirade-the-portrayal-of-kenya-s-historical-process-in-miguna-miguna-s-autobiographical-works