Monday, October 19, 2015

Tale 13: Of Latin, Libraries and Elections

Some tales hold on tight to one, Not coming through,
Teasing, holding off all else.
Permitting expression only to that which concerns it.
So is this tale of Latin, Libraries and Elections.

Dubito ergo Cogito, Cogito ergo sum!

Let’s start at the very beginning:

I grew up with a love of books.
Serious Bibliophilia.
A Love nurtured and grown by my parents.

A modest library we had at home
But what treasures lay within
Myriad places to explore and escape to.
Well read copies, others mint
Hard Back, Soft Copy
First Editions, New Prints
Papyrus paper, News print
Pages missing yet memory served up

Memories where i retold tales of masters
Bront√ęs Jane Eyre recalling her childhood fantasy through Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland
Hardy’s Tess of the D'urbervilles possibly finding some solace in Dicken’s Tale of Two Cities
Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe and His Man Friday joining in Swift's’ Gulliver's Travels
O what adventures I had!

Aside: No I am not an only child, 5 of 6 but weirdly introverted
Then I found and truly knew the world as my stage.
Shakespear’s King Leah, his Romeo & Juliet, Othello
The Bard of Avons’ sonnets and his Much Ado about nothing.

My Bibliophilism though went far beyond these imperial reads.
It swept across our nation across Africa
Shall I tell of tales by candle light
My father playing out ‘Ogboju Ode Ninu Igbo Irunmole’ by D.O. Fagunwa?

Of Amos Tutuola’s ‘Palmwine Drinkard’ enriching my love of ‘broken english’ and pidgin
of Ayi Kwei Armah’s ‘The Beautiful ones are not yet Born’
Of Ola Rotimi’s ‘Our Husband has gone mad again’

Which shall I recall of the Laureate’s many works read:
The Lion and the Jewel?
Death and the King’s Horseman,?
Madmen and Specialists?
and of Course Achebe’s Things Fall Apart (and they still are unfortunately!)

Ahh the smell of an ancient book, dust covered and dog eared
Musty and fragile (atishoo! always happens what with my super sensitive nose!)
And the sweet smell of a brand new book
Crispy, Virgin, Untouched.

So you see my love of books is deep.
I am an addicted Bibliophile.

Old almanacs, classics,
Poetry & Comics (think TinTin, Richie Rich, Papa Ajasco, Omooba, Dilbert)
African tales, academic papers
History books to romance novels
DIY’s to Reader’s Digest

So long a letter :-) Now you get the picture
I am addictively ‘in love’ with the written word.
[Yes, Yes most especially the unshakeable Word who was in the beginning and is!]

So it should hold no surprise that this tale of Thanks (yes that is what it still is despite my tangential writing!)
Is centered around my bibliophilism - such was its lure that into Politics i fell.
A love so strong it held me in for 2 years and 1 more.
For you see, I could hardly bear to see the English Arts Library
Remain unkempt and uncared for.
Books yes ancient, atimes archaic
Not breathe in the light of day.
My competition was tough o - she had the strength of a lecturer as her boyfriend behind her (a love of which I hold nothing against).

And so I campaigned, latin phrase borrowed from Philosophy 102
Dubito ergo Cogito, Cogito ergo sum!

Shivering in my Yaba railway shoes
Skinny frame rattling
all behind a look above their heads facade
As I confidently spoke through the debate - on why I deserve their votes
On the why and how I would revamp the library and make it more accessible

I won! AVLESS librarian - Yes o!

So I say a hearty thank you.
To all who voted for the skinny latin speaking semi confident bookworm
You all unknowingly helped me.
Helped me to face up and stand up to an innate shyness and reclusiveness!

Gratias tibi! Thank you!

Forever a Bibliophile and more tales to be told.

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