A Wetness in Dry Places: Sex and Taboo in Abubakar Ibrahim’s Season of Crimson Blossoms

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Daniel Chukwuemeka


Contemporary critique of trope of sexual liberation in African literature is mostly replete with analysis of prostitution narratives, giving rise to an assumption and monolithic view of what sexual freedom or self-determination could mean. Such narratives, however, often do not yield arguments related to the critical capital of the salacious, since prostitution primarily involves transactional sex and not necessarily an inordinate sexual affair. This study privileges a generic divergence whereby analysis is hinged on the literary appreciation of salaciousness. Abubakar Adam Ibrahim’s Season of Crimson Blossoms departs from prostitution plot to a pornographic depiction of sexual obscenity: the venereal affair between Binta Zubairu, a 55 year old widow and grandmother, and Hassan Reza, a 25 year old street gang leader. The study investigates the existential tragedy of sexual freedom by examining the extent to which sexual relationship that is considered a taboo in a given social milieu is a recipe for self-realisation. Using a feminist view of existentialism, I demonstrate how the individual will to rise above the conventional, by escaping from being a sexually deprived human to becoming one who responds to the body’s need for unbridled sexual pleasure, constitutes George Lukács and Arthur Miller’s ideas of modern tragedy.

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Chukwuemeka, D. (2019). A Wetness in Dry Places: Sex and Taboo in Abubakar Ibrahim’s Season of Crimson Blossoms. Humanities Bulletin, 2(2), 145-157. Retrieved from https://www.journals.lapub.co.uk/index.php/HB/article/view/1249