Another one of the establishment’s stunted lists of fiction: The Millions’ “best books of fiction of the millennium” [2000-2009]. Wizard of the Crow, the 2006 novel by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, stands head and shoulders above this list.
In part, Wizard of the Crow illuminates how centralized governments in the age of propaganda function globally, more or less, not least in the US (where Ngũgĩ has lived and worked for 16 years, since 1992, the beginning of President Bill Clinton’s terms). The Clinton-Bush regimes in Washington DC were forced to “continually invent tales that, with breathtaking speed, become the new realities that the country must live by” whether to invade and occupy Iraq and Afghanistan indefinitely, or to demonize welfare, or to endlessly bailout high finance, or to flood prisons with non-violent drug-law offenders, or to continually prop-up pharmaceutical and insurance companies while demonizing Medicare for all, and on and on. President Bush II shoved the military into Iraq and Afghanistan with his “iron hand” and by way of “dealing businessmen” in the media and elsewhere (often not so “ignorant”). The Bush regime could and so it did, even though the majority public opposed it, even in the US except for a few months in the beginning of the invasion when the massive fraudulent propaganda deluge worked its effect, mentally cleansing the US majority ever so briefly. And now the Barack Obama incipient regime, only slightly less status quo aggressive and fanatic, has more subtly maneuvered, but in just as wholesale a fashion, America’s “desperation” in grasping at fake change “to a vision of national strength, fervently attended to by popular demonstrations all over the country” and beyond (hundreds of thousands gathered to cheer him on while in Europe prior to the US election). “Significantly, the [presumptive] Ruler has not said a word to create this new reality,” not a word that is meaningful in any basic concrete way. “He has spurred his [PR] ministers to invent an entirely new reality, and to find methods by which to force it into existence” at least in appearance.
Wizard of the Crow is a global novel from Africa. Commenting at Amazon. com, Patricia Kramer writes, “The satire is biting, the laughs come often but then the reality of our country’s present policies sets in. We would be lucky to have a Wizard of the Crow right now in America.” Such a pointed global epic from America rather than “from Africa” or Asia, et al, would preferably be one that advances well beyond even the mighty Wizard. Such a novel and any clear-eyed critical reception will have to wait, and if and when that day arrives, will have to be fought for. That’s the reality.