An Analysis of Kyuka Lilymjok’s The Mad Professor of Zwigwi

Tayol Raphael

Department of English

Benue State University, Makurdi


Man and conscience have through time and space been inseparable. For the most part, man is a product of what his conscience says of him. Using Sigmund Freud’s consciousness and unconsciousness strands of Psychoanalytical theory, this paper explores the “inward” verbal outpourings of Philjez as the major character in The Mad Professor of Zwigwi to ascertain the semantic implications of these utterances. The paper shows that Phijez’s utterances consist of certain expressed declarations that are of utmost importance to human development generally. The paper concludes that Phijez’s expressions have pedagogical contents that need to be understood and applied for human development.


Man is the product of his consciousness as literature is a product of its society. Consciousness awakes man’s mind and deploys it to action. There are no limits to the abilities that can emanate from a man’s mind when conscious. It is an enlightenment force in a man that leads to thoughts and expressions that are helpful to human endeavours. However, it should be noted that the quality of consciousness in a man depends on the education he has received and how much he has exerted himself to develop his mind. This means that the quality and quantity of consciousness in men is not the same.

Consciousness according to Henry Sussman means a signal into the entire mental being in the individual mind up to the point of rationale and communicable awareness (126). William James in The Principles of Psychology compares human consciousness to a flowing body of water. This means consciousness is unbroken and unjointed (239). Where consciousness is fragmented, its flow will be lost; and lost with the flow will be any message the fragmented consciousness was carrying. 

In literature, the expression of a person’s consciousness is what William James – the American philosopher and psychologist refers to as “The Stream of Consciousness”. Although it is a technique used in literary analysis, it can also be observed in a person’s attitude. In fact, it is its observability in people’s attitude that was turned into a literary technique that can be used to analyze a character’s thoughts and expressions. 

 Stream of Consciousness is a literary technique used in the 19th century to show subjective and objective reality. It is a literary technique that reveals the characters’ feelings, thoughts, and actions. The style usually employed by an author to write a novel stream of consciousness technique will be applied is usually an associative rather than a logical sequence of events style. This means the author selects issues, events and matters that relate and hand them over to the character to speak on them without strict coherence. This is what Kyuka Lilymjok does in The Mad Professor of Zwigwi where Prof. Philjez speaks on a myriad of related issues often in a random way.

Going through the novel of well over one thousand pages, it is not difficult picturing Prof. Philjez’s unconscious and subconscious mind as oceans of thoughts and ideas while his consciousness the stream the thoughts and ideas in his unconsciousness and subconsciousness flow through. It is from his stream of consciousness that the reader fetches the water of his thoughts and ideas that he can’t access in the oceans. The mad professor’s consciousness is such a fast moving stream full of water that a reader may easily be drowned in it if he is also not swift in the head.

Stream of consciousness technique is used by both writers and critics. While the technique guides writers in their writing, critics use it to critique the works of writers.

Stream of consciousness literary technique was first used by William James in his The Principle of Psychology published in 1890. It later became widely used in fiction by the Irish novelist and poet James Joyce especially in his Ulysses and Finnegan’s Wake. Other exponents of the form were American novelist William Faulkner and British novelist Virginia Woolf. 

Stream of consciousness is often confused with interior monologue. While interior monologue comprises of an extended passage in a story or novel that expresses what a character is thinking or feeling, stream of consciousness technique attempts to portray the remote, preconscious state that exists before the mind organizes sensations. Stream of consciousness is a state of mind before interior monologue; it is a state of mind that gives birth to interior monologue.  It is a state of mind that frequently lacks the unity, explicit cohesion and selectivity of direct thoughts (Microsoft Encarta).

The verbal inward expressions of Philjez the major character in The Mad Professor of Zwigwi identifies with his vast feelings, thoughts, actions which he expresses freely but in a random manner. This essay aims at sorting out some of the thematic contents of Philjez’s feelings, thoughts and actions which occurred in him in the form of inward and outward expressions through a thematic assemblage. Though Philjez presents himself as a mad man, there is however no doubt that he speaks sense often more than those who claim to be sane.

Be the above as it may, in all literary works, there is a persona behind the mask. In The Mad Professor of Zwigwi, this persona is no doubt the authorial force behind the creation of the philosophical and intellectualized character of the mad professor. In Philjez the mad professor we see the persona of the author who is also a professor of weird propostions. If God created man in his own image after his likeness, writers create characters in their own image after their own likeness. Often writers write fictionally about themselves.            

Review of Related Literature

Despite their volume, Kyuka Lilymjok’s literary works have not enjoyed widespread criticism. Although, critical works on psychological consciousness as an aspect of literature have been applied to several literary works, none as at the time of this research centres on Kyuka Lilymjok’s The Mad Professor of Zwigwi.  

Sheila Trask in The US Review of Books stated in an online commentary on the text of The Mad Professor of Zwigwi that Philjez’s “dialogue is with the reader, to whom he is imparting his insight and wisdom on various issues of life and society.” This means the stream of Philjez’s consciousness has several distinctive pedagogical implications which have connections with life’s experiences. Most critics who have attempted to identify what motivates a character’s actions in novels the technique of stream of consciousness is used consider the novels based on the structure of the inward expression of the characters’ psychological feelings and thoughts. This essay will not only consider the utterances in structural thematic formats, but will also try to measure the diverse pedagogical prongs of the stream of consciousness used in the novel.

Theoretical Framework

This paper uses an eclectic mix of theories raging from psychoanalysis, postcolonial criticism, ecocriticism and so on. This is because the thoughts and expressions of Philjez the main character in the novel are also an electric mix that cover a variety of issues relating to a wide theoretical spectrum. Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytical critical models of conscious and unconscious are among the various theories employed in the analysis of The Mad Professor of Zwigwi

A lot of Freud’s positions have been heavily criticized, yet they remain the starting point of all psychoanalytic discourse. Freud’s theory of the unconscious posits that some desires that cannot be fulfilled because they conflict with social norms are censored and pushed (repressed) into the unconscious (subconscious), from which they emerge in forms that are modified, disguised and all but unrecognizable to the conscious mind. Freud identifies the id, ego and the superego as the three major systems of personality that coordinate the human mind and whose cooperation ensures a balanced personality.

While the id works towards the fulfilment of what Freud calls the ‘pleasure principle’, the ego attempts to control and govern the id and superego, which is the moral or judicial branch of a personality. The activities of these three systems make it possible for the undesirable or unsatisfied desires and conflicts to be consigned to the unconscious. In the same vein, most of the experiences that are suppressed to the unconscious are usually sad experiences. These sad experiences do not go away completely when suppressed, but hang about within the unconscious and assert themselves at adulthood to influence the individual’s behaviour. Most imperative to this study is the idea that the stream of consciousness is a product of the unconscious. This unconscious streak that Philjez displays in his wide roaming thoughts on a variety of subjects thus lays the basis for a psychoanalytical analysis in addition to the other theories employed.

Synopsis of The Mad Professor of Zwigwi

Professor Philjez had lived in the village of Wadjou and later moved to Zwigwi to become a lecturer at the University of Zwigwi. He is a Professor of Plant Pathology in the department of Botany. He lives in the University alone without friends as a chain-smoker talking mostly to trees and animals. Intelligent, living a lonely life and appearing unkempt, Philjez stands out. Envied for his superior intelligence and hated for his perceived arrogance by the Vice Chancellor, Philjez is sacked from the university on trumped up allegations of sexual harassment of a female student. Though sacked, he is not evicted from his university quarters. But preferring the solitude of his farmhouse in the jungle, he is more in his farmhouse than in the university quarters.  Living alone in the jungle of his farmhouse, he talks to himself and to trees and animals. His monologues with himself are on sundry issues of life as they flow into his stream of consciousness. Usually they flow into his mind in a random and unsystematic manner and he expresses them the way they flow into his mind. This gives the impression that he is truly mad or has at least mental issues. Towards the end of the novel he thinks he does not understand life and opts to return to Wadjou village where he thinks he will understand life better. In the end, he commits suicide when he cannot stand the squeaking of a rabbit trapped in an inferno. He jumps into the inferno and is seen or heard no more. Committing suicide the way he does, one calls to mind his view of suicide: ‘‘Before you reach the point people commit suicide, you wonder why they do so. When you get to the point, you wonder why you haven’t done so.’’ (p.790).

 The novel begins with a prologue and continues with seventy-nine chapters, then, ends with an epilogue. It has Philjez as the only major character whose thoughts occupy the novel.

Analysis of The Mad Professor of Zwigwi

Disillusionment and Despair

The Mad Professor of Zwigwi is a novel by Kyuka Lilymjok which focuses almost exclusively on Professor Philjez’s thoughts, feelings, and sensations. Philjez’s thoughts and expressions particularly in his farmhouse are electric and do indeed shock. Frequently Philjez is seized by nostalgic feelings probably because of his disillusionment with current happenings in society. Lilymjok uses the stream of consciousness technique in a form of a free and direct flow of thoughts that comes from Philjez continuously to express the wretched and abject character of the human condition in general and his disillusionment and despair with contemporary life in particular. His disillusionment and despair is basically caused by misery and injustices occasioned by man’s activities generally. He is a towering existentialist who sees nothing in life where others see something

Philjez’s constant angst is with the injustice he sees in society among men and even in nature. Thought he dwells on many themes, he dwells more on injustice, and on religion as a fraud driven by man’s vanity and stupidity. The novel opens with a prologue with an instance of injustice in nature. A hen loses all her chicks to a hawk – something Philjez finds unjust. His grandfather perhaps more used to injustice says on this occasion:

I don’t know. The only thing I know is that life and injustice eat from the same calabash. When I was in the forest gathering firewood, I saw an egret pouncing on a grasshopper. I saw cows devouring the grasses. Injustice runs in the veins of the earth like blood in the veins of man. Injustice is petty and random in the world. When you step out of your house, often injustice is the first thing you meet on your path. Misery is loose and common in the world mostly because of injustice. Petty and random, injustice is in wedlock with common and loose misery begetting wretchedness in the world… (x)

His grandfather further asserts that injustice is an integral part of life:

‘Child, the sky and the earth are two pieces of cloths that would be blown apart by the wind unless they are stitched together by a needle and a thread. Injustice and misery are the needle and thread used to stitch the earth and the sky together… (xi)

The novel ends with an instance of injustice of man aims at man, but ending up consuming nature:

Coming back from the farm, Prof. Philjez was surprised to see the small taxi driver with his taxi a little far off from where he broke bush. The bonnet of the car was open and the driver was fiddling something on the side of the bonnet. On seeing Prof. Philjez, he quickly closed the bonnet and started the taxi. Prof. Philjez thought he was in a hurry to pick him to campus, but soon thought differently. The little man with his beady eyes swimming in his head charged the taxi at him like a wanton cow that had broke stable.

Was he like the short man in Zwigwi University having his siesta while driving? Philjez wondered, alarmed by the vehicle surging towards him. With the agility of a cat, he jumped clear leaving the taxi to plunge into an abyss behind him. It burst into flames moments after landing on its roof in the gorge. From the roaring flames, Prof. Philjez could hear the screams of the taxi driver trapped in the fire. More distinctly, he could hear the squealing of a rabbit trapped in the conflagration. (p.1,172).

      Professor Philjez has a runaway mind that once levered out rattles on like a runaway train. His mind is a sweeping wind that often blows the reader out of his own mind. It is a tornado that touches down on the reader with the claws of an eagle; it is a whirlwind, a hurricane and typhoon that spins in and out often leaving the reader tossed out of his own mind.

 Now and then Philjez says he is a mad man that has left the world behind and no longer cares for his life: ‘‘I am a mad man that is beyond help. What I think or say is not for my own good, but the good of those who can learn from me.’’ (p.55). 

His physical appearance no doubt indicates he has lost his mind. According to the authorial voice, Philjez “was out of weather with the taste of his time and out of rhythm with the dance of the day.” (5). This reference has given him a weird look in physique and personality such that only his being could explain the nature of his self.

To further put his sanity in question, Philjez sings songs he says are sang by the wind. The first of such songs he sings is touching:

We are all caught

In a dance we have no legs for

And in a song we have no tongue for.

Like flies

We woke up here

To see ourselves in a web

And may wake up there

To see there is no there.

We can’t see the beginning of this web

Neither can we the end.

Where is the spider?

The spider is the web you cannot see.

Like rabbits

We find ourselves in traps

That tighten with sunrise

And hang at sundown.

Those who hear

Do not understand what they hear.

Those who speak

Speak of things they know nothing of.

Those who laugh in the morning

Cry in the afternoon

And sigh with the failing fire at night.

The mind sees what the eyes cannot see

And there is no door in the eyes

To admit what the mind sees.  

Everyone is lost in the vanity of his ignorance

Way out

We are way in.

There is no escape for anyone!

The above song of the wind underscores the futility of trying to escape the web of the misery of life while one remains in it. The noose of this misery tightens more in so-called modern life. So the wind sang in a very long song:

Before the sun entered my room

The water pot was by my bedside

The water pot needed no power

To cool the water inside the pot

So I drank cold water at no cost to me

But the sun turned up with a water pot

That needed power at a cost to me

Where is my life?

Before the sun entered my room

The water in my stream was very clean

I needed no wells and no pumps

But the sun came with dirt and filth

And pumped these into my stream

The stream where I used to find life

Now breeds disease and death

Where is my life?

When I cried of dirty water

The sun turned up with water in sachets

Calling the sachet water, pure water

Pure water in a wrap

Pure water I have to buy

I now buy

What may carry my death

Where is my life?

Before the sun entered my room

The forest of my village was a virgin

The more we ate the fruits of the forest

The more the forest became a virgin

But the sun defiled the forest of my village

The forest that was a barn to us

Is now an empty husk

Where is my life?

The oxygen that used to roam my forest

Has been chased away by carbon dioxide

The monkey is finding it more difficult to breathe  

Very soon I will need a cask of oxygen

To enter the forest I used to go to for oxygen

The sun has burned up the forest

Leaving carbon dioxide behind

Where is my life?

Before the sun entered my room

There was no SARS, swine or bird flu

We walked around with our noses in the air

Gulping tons of fresh air into our lungs

But the sun carries with him

A plague of diseases wherever he goes

The sun brought to our air tons of sicknesses

We are all trapped in a tank of incurable diseases

Where is my life?

Now that the sun is in my room

I have to buy a nose sack

And move around with my sack

Like the bridle of a wanton horse

I have to be content with the little oxygen

The sack pores can provide

My life is now thin where it was fat 

Where is my life?

Before the sun entered my room

I had no use for chemical fertiliser

The manure of the cows and the goats

Was sufficient for my farm

But the sun brought chemical fertiliser

That has turned acid in my farm

And placed the wolves at my doorsteps

Where is my life?

Before the sun entered my room

No one died in the air

And was lost to the vultures

We all died on the ground

Where we were buried by our relations

Who reunite us with our ancestors

Not by vultures that do not know us

Where is my life?

Before the sun entered my room

Everyone was lying happily

In the shade of his room

Or the shade of a tree in front of his house

But the sun pulled everyone into the sun of seeking jobs

He would be paid the money the sun brought with him

To buy goods of the sun

Where is my life?

We are all under the sun

Looking for money

To buy those things the sun says

We need to be human

In the search for money

Son is stranger to father

And daughter is no daughter to mother

Where is my life?

We are all breaking our backs under the sun

Raking in money for the sun while seeking humanity

We left behind in our shades

The sun has taken over our shades

But he cannot enjoy the humanity of our shades

Because the sun is too cold

For the warmth of humanity in our shades to embrace him

Where is my life?

The things the sun says

We need to be human

Keep leaping forward

As we crawl to grab them

But in our crave to be human

We are all beyond the help of reason

So no dog is hearing the hunter’s whistle

Where is my life?

Now that the sun is in my room

Misery has pitched its tent

Where my pillow used to lie

Sorrow is feeding on me

Like a vengeful mosquito without a heart

My smitten skull is without pads

My life has fled my festering corpse

Where is my life?

Yes, before the sun entered my room

I could not read and write

But what I am reading these days

Is drawing such tears from my eyes

That I may soon lose the eyes to write

I am out of cheer

To entertain any good from the world of books

Where is my life?

The sun is out there boasting

He brought light to me

But I need my eyes and life

For the light the sun brought to be useful to me

The sun threw me into a flood of diseases

Only to point to life jackets on the riverbank

Life jackets I have to swim to

Where is my life?

Where is my life?

Since the sun entered my room

My life fled me

I tell you what I see before me is not life

What I see before me are lies and illusions

There is no truth in what I see and life is truth.

What I see before me is disease and death

Where is my life? (18)

Certainly the best way to review The Mad Professor of Zwigwi is to dwell on some of the various themes Philjez the main character in the novel dwells on. Monologuing on these themes, sometimes when Philjez says something positive on a theme he is talking about, he goes on to negate it. His stream of consciousness flows into low and high lands of thoughts, meanders into strange forest and spreads into arteries that flow into the ocean and are seen no more. Some of the themes Philjez’s stream of consciousness flows into include the following:


Flowing into morality, he says:

Yeah, manners are freezing. The warm manners of salutation in many communities are freezing. They are being replaced by the cold manners of hi or merely a faint waving of the hand. Morality is melting in many communities. Instead of freezing manners freezing morality, morality is melting away into the sea of rotten behavior. Good manners are becoming orphaned and widowed every day while bad manners are becoming over parented and husbanded every day. It is so frightening to those with ancient sensibilities…(56)

The world should have fixed things before the dog started biting its owner. What is happening to the world now has no name and a disease that has no name has no cure…(56)

The world is becoming cooking hot, but instead of manners getting cooked, they are getting raw. While gutters are being covered up in the cities, all one sees in the cities is gutter behavior. While rats are being wiped out by poisons, sneaky and ratty behavior are becoming more rampant. The vulture and hyena are becoming extinct, yet it is the opportunism of vultures and rapacity of hyenas I see all about me. (56)

Morality has suffered an earthquake. Going through the rubbles of morality, I can’t find a splinter of wood to make a hut for my child…(55)

Much more than environmental pollution, moral pollution is threatening to suffocate the world. The city smells so much of moral pollution that I can’t stand it and so have to be fleeing to the jungle for whiffs of fresh air. In nothing do you see the decay of man as in the moral pollution he is steeped in…(55)


Speaking on character he says:

Character and morality are so important that gods have been invented all over the world to enforce them. Without character and moarlity, society dissolves into a brutish and hellish affair. Character and morality are the spinal cord of every society… (50)

Lack of character in the world today is what has made it sick and there is no intellect that can cure it. The more intelligent men become, it seems the more degenerate they become in character and the sicker the world becomes in mind and body. It is the office of intellect to discern the problems that are throwing a nation into cycles of retrogression and turmoil. It is the office of character to take the necessary action that will deliver the country from its cycles of turbulence and functional paralysis. Where character fails, intellect is of no consequence. No one goes to hell because he did not go to school. People go to hell for bad morals. A nation does not turn into hell because its citizens do not go to school. A nation turns to hell because of the bad morals of its citizens. Instead of building schools for character improvement, we are building schools for intellectual development. We are looking in the wrong direction for solutions to our problems. Any wonder we have come to this sorry pass?  (49)


Being a scholar, the volume of water in Professor Philjez’s stream of consciousness on scholarship is something of a flood:

Scholarship is a rare call to the serious business of thought and breeding of ideas. Ideas are universal and eternal. A scholar properly so-called is a factory of ideas and is therefore a universal and eternal person. The whole world is the stage for the scholar. In the world theatre he performs, the scholar’s ideas and the manner he communicates them are the actions and grace with which he excites or bores his audience. A scholar as a world player is above creed, which a prophet is subject to; above race, which a leader may be subject to, and above nation, which a politician is subject to. More than any type of scholar, the philosopher-scholar is more eternal, universal and classic. ..(713) 

For the world to be the stage for a scholar, his ideas must hold their own in an international contest of ideas. In an Olympic contest of ideas, some of his ideas should be able to walk away with gold medals…(713) 

When you drop your idea on a sounding-board and the sounding-board emits no sound, it means your idea is too light to merit a sound. A heavy idea landing on a sounding-board never rest without a rousing reception or ceremony  … (647)


Flowing into books, Philjez stream of consciousness ripples with gold and diamond.:

A book is a little dispensary you can go to for first aid against sudden attacks of ignorance. It is a little lighthouse that shines by day as by night. But many people prefer to walk in the dark tunnels of ignorance than go to this little lighthouse… (650)

After rippling gold and diamond for books, Philjez’s stream of consciousness puffs fire for books:

To a fool, a book is conclusive of knowledge and the truth on an issue. To the genius, a book is merely a guide to knowledge that may contain errors …(295).


Flowing into happiness, Philjez says:

Happiness left me when I started asking after the ultimate of things instead of being contented with the surface and shallowness of things like everyone else. Even now that I know why happiness left me, I am unwilling to live life on the surface with everyone. My teeth keep digging, tearing deeper through the paltry paste life is serving me into the vinegary taste of a ponto fruit. I am doomed to unhappiness as a crybaby is doomed to tears…(89)  

How can I be happy seeing the carnage around the world, seeing floods of human beings flowing out of war-torn cities under rains of bombs? How can I be happy seeing innocent children looking lost and bewildered clutching to their grief-striken parents fleeing rains of bombs in their shredded cities? Where in the unholy name of the devil did the image and likeness of God come by the idiocy and cruelty I see on display? (89)

The world is yawning from the hunger of capitalism, sneezing from the dust of war, coughing from the smoke of bombs, panting from the shock of immorality. The image and likeness of God has opened a gash on the forehead of a diabetic world that will not heal. Flies and vultures are hovering in the sky…(90)

Some countries in the world have been reduced to corpses and carcasses by conflicts and famine. All you see in these countries are rising dusts of graves that do not bury and rising smoke from pyres  that do not cremate. My heart is torn apart by all these…(90)

The Cult of Science

Flowing into science he says:

The cult of science and technology continues to dazzle those without eyes to see the havoc of science and technology. But to the discerning mind, science and technology have turned out to be fairy tales of fancy with bad hangovers. In most communities of Africa and Latin America, people were forced to accept science and technology as they were forced to accept religion. Natives were first conquered, then indoctrinated to believe in a new religion and perception of the world. A sort of fetishism towards the conqueror and his values overtook the mind of the conquered that makes him extend his worship of the God of the conqueror to the values and goods of the conqueror…(1,112)

For the same reason people worshipped lightning and thunder, they worship science and technology and those who brought the duo. Science was the lightning; technology the thunder. The lightning and thunder of science and technology prove no less destructive than the lightning and thunder of the sky…(1,112)

Environmental Pollution

Flowing into environmental pollution, he says:

We have set the earth on an irreversible path of death. If because of our emission of greenhouse gases the earth continues to heat up the way it is doing now, we might have to bring out our air-conditioners and refrigerators to cool it…(1,113)

It is hell having to go to sleep in summer under the cover of a thick blanket. Greenhouse gases over the earth are a thick blanket we have to sleep under today at summer as at winter. The thick blanket of greenhouse gases has turned the earth into an oven we are all baking under.  After we have been baked, the sun that baked us shall eat us.  

Why are we finding hell where we thought we would find heaven and set out for? Why are dreams turning to nightmares and excitements turning to ashes in our mouths? All the glittering things that science and technology brought were supposed to take us to heaven, but they are taking us to hell. Why are we ending in a hole with the devil when we set out for the mountain where we can speak to God in heaven? Why are we ending up in the desert in thirst when we set out for the sea? …(1,113)

The sky is crumbling on us, cried Melan. Mountains are coughing and vomiting blood we do not know they have. Seas are belching and sneezing fire we do not know they have. Seas are rising to swallow us as we rise up in the morning to swallow ginga. Storms are raging like stung lunatics that do not understand pity. The wind has developed hooves and fangs, and is galloping like a wanton horse hoofing people out of their homes. The sun is spiting like a pregnant woman; but it is not spiting saliva; it is spiting fire. The sun is vomiting and coughing fire that is licking the earth like the tongue of a famished reptile. The earth is heaving like an enraged monster and trembling like a cold-stricken vagabond. Disease and poverty are running amok like a bunch of imps let loose from hell. Man has betrayed the rest of nature to his stomach and he will pay a heavy price for it. We have spat into the eyes of the gods. There will be no escape even for the dead. …(1,114)


Flowing into capitalism he says:

I can say this of capitalism: It is the creed of the devil that has been made to appear like the manifesto of God. Capitalism excites greed; communism excites compassion. Capitalism is a scandal. It is supposed to be something whispered in the dark because there is something dark and shameful about it. Capitalism is supposed to be something practised in a tunnel with the devil as officiating priest. If human beings are not ashamed of capitalism, it is not because it is not a shameful thing, but because human beings are shameless in their greed. Capitalism suffered a stillbirth in those who conceived and delivered it. It is the greed of the few it has made powerful that still hoists its corpse over society. I can make this prediction about the end of capitalism or society: If the corpse of capitalism is not buried, it will bury society.  This is an all over the bar shouting matter…(385)

Capitalism is a throwback, a shrinking of Rousseau’s social contract. It seeks to make individuals society to themselves by fanning their embers of greed, by seeking to generate islands of wealth for them. Communism is an extension, an advancement of Rosseau’s social contract. It seeks to melt the individual and his wealth into a common pool of wealth…(385)

Capitalism aligned with selfishness and it is such a powerful alliance. Communism aligned with altruism and it is such a weak alliance. Capitalism aligned with the devil. In a world the devil is in charge, it is a powerful alliance. Communism aligned with God. In a world God is not in charge, it is a weak alliance. Capitalism may talk about God, but it is only talking about God like the devil who appears as an angel of light. When the children of God appeared, the devil appeared among them. Communism may talk against God, but it is what does what God wants. The son who told his father he would not do what the father asked him to do but eventually did it, pleased the father more than the one who said he would, but did not. I have no doubt in my mind that in the fullness of time, capitalism will go to hell while communism will make heaven… (386)

Capitalism is toxic. If so-called modern society is found to be toxic, its toxicity is bred by the greed spawned by capitalism. –(387)

Capitalism is terrorism. Suicide bombings and other terror tactics are natural responses to the terror of capitalism. It is not an accident that there is an upsurge in suicide bombing terrorism in the unipolar world of capitalism. Capitalism terrorism is a homicidal maniac amok in a shooting spree. It has provoked the most fantastic response of suicide bombing terrorism among its helpless and hapless victims…(387) 

Help, capitalism has caught fire! Ah – the water that would have been used to put out the fire the industries of capitalism have since gobbled up. ..(387)


Flowing into God, he says:

God is anything you cannot explain. When you acquire intelligence to explain the thing, it ceases to be God; God leaves and goes on to be other things you can’t explain. No wonder no one can explain God. God is ignorance…(968)

I think it was Joseph Stiglitz who said the so-called invisible hand in economics is invisible because there is no such hand. You must have heard it said several times by believers that God is unknowable. True; whatever you don’t know is God. Whoever knows what does not exist? Like Stiglitz’s invisible hand, God is unknowable because there is no God… (968)

Failing to prove the existence of God, those who believe in his existence, if they are liberal, charitable and will not charge a non-believer with blasphemy for daring to doubt the existence of what has no proof, will say God transcends all knowledge and rationality; that he is infinite and humans are so finite in their intellect and understanding. That he is outside human experience and understanding – the God that is our father and we are his children is outside our experience and understanding! Who then is within our experience and understanding if our forbear is outside the twosome? The devil? It is all very bewildering and baffling…()1,068

If God is infinite, that is the more reason he should be known or perhaps even seen or is he so infinitesimal as not to exist? If he transcends all knowledge, Buddhists that go into transcendal meditation should get closer enough to him to know him. Yet, it is Buddhists who say there is no God to save anyone; that everyone should save himself. I can’t understand any of these. Can God help me out of this nightmare of an enigma?  (1,068)


Flowing into religion, he says:

Religion is full of apologetics. Apologetics has three components: proof, defense and offense. By proof, apologetics seeks to prove there is God and that the God there is created the world. By defense, apologetics seeks to defend what it had supposedly proved. By offense, apologetics seeks to get people buy into it – to follow the God it has proved and is defending. I tell you all the three parts of apologetics are apologies – something inferior, a bad example of something. Yeah religion should apologise for lying to humanity. The penance it demands from so-called sinners we should see in it. After sacking intelligence in man, religion should be in sackcloths and ashes… (1,068)

For believers, the grave is a night that holds the angels of heaven and the monsters of hell. No one believes in God, heaven and hell without first falling into a pit of darkness. Faith comes to all of us only in the wells of darkness. Remember the story of Paul the Apostle. He only became a believer when he went blind. Haw-haw! …(1,069) 

Fishermen, tax collectors, religious zealots, gentiles, people without a foothold in either knowledge or intelligence, the whole tribe of blind men if you like, were in the main the disciples of Jesus who himself was the son of a carpenter. Mohammed could not read or write. There is no evidence his companions could either.  …(1,069) 

Faith in God, in heaven and hell is a dream. In a dream, you can be flying like a bird, walking in the air, appearing and disappearing and all will be normal and usual. In a dream, your brother’s wife can be your wife and your mother can be your sister and all will be in order. That is the stuff of dreams. In a dream, the absurd, the laughable and the downright stupid are all credible, acceptable and normal. It is the same thing with faith in God. While dreaming of God, heaven and hell, these absurd phenomena appear so real and credible. However, once sense, reason and reality wakes you from your dream, belief in God, heaven and hell becomes a laughable and absurd thing. The tragedy for many believers is that there is no waking up from the dream of faith until the final sleep. …(1,069)

Who knows whether the miracles in the bible were the dreams of believers. In the surreal, drunken and dreamy fantasy of belief, anything can happen. Hallucinations and mirages are demons and angels that walk the dim and hazy world of belief. If no other book in the bible is the product of a dream, the book of Revelations is without doubt the product of a dream – a nightmarish dream with haunting demons and monsters…(1,070)

All believers are daydreamers. In the world of dreams, the most bizarre and illogical things are usual and logical. What will shock a man while awake and thinking will be normal with him while asleep and dreaming. The fantastic thing about being a believer is spending your life asleep and dreaming of heaven and hell. The terrible thing about being a non-believer is spending your life awake and seeing the wretchedness of life without a hereafter. …(1,069)   

A dream is something that happens in darkness. It happens with the eyes and brain shut down. So is belief in God, heaven and hell. It is something that happens with the brain and eyes shut down. …(1,069)


Flowing into ambition, he says:

Whether the game of life shall be for you a ten to one game – a game in which there are overwhelming odds in your favour or against you often depend on how well you prepare for the game. If you prepare well, it will be a ten to one chance that you will win. If you don’t prepare well, it will be a ten to one chance that you will lose…(196)

It is always a feat achieving anything great. Whatever is a piece of cake, easy-peasy, a piece of piss can only be piss. There is always a huge price for every prize.(197).

The porcupine aims in all directions and hits its target. The porcupine can afford this because it has many quills. The unicorn with only one horn cannot afford this. It aims in only one direction and also hits its target. In the matter of ambition, a human being is more of a unicorn than a porcupine. Being a unicorn, aim only in one direction and hit your target.(197)

Winners have three things in common: hope, faith and effort. With these three and time working for you, everyone wins…(198)

In this business called life, I have only one friend: my ambition,’ said Zarkeya. ‘In fact, my ambition is more than my friend, it is my life. I sleep with it, wake up with it, go through the day with it only to retire to bed again with it at night. I don’t look to the left or to the right but to my ambition which walks in front of me as it leads me to my destiny.’ ..(199)  

My child, I commend Zarkeya’s commitment to ambition to you. There is no way you will not end up a star in the sky if you follow the footsteps of Zarkeya…(199)

Whoever is ambitious is someone who wants to be a star. Stars are in the sky not on the ground. Being ambitious therefore is a journey to the sky where the stars are. A journey to the stars is a long journey you stand a better chance of making if you start early and walk fast…(199) 

The journey of ambition is the journey of destiny. It is a journey full of travails, anguish and tribulations. It is the journey of Jesus Via Dolorosa – way of grief, way of sorrows, way of sufferings, painful way. Those on the path of your journey will mock you, snub you and spit on you. You will stumble and fall on the way; you will sweat and pant as you struggle to arrive at destination, and your ordeal will only be sport to many…(199)     

In his journey of destiny, Jesus was betrayed by one of his disciples, denied by another, and doubted by yet another. But when he arrived destination in victory, he was greeted with halleluiah by a frenzy mob to whom victory is the wine of the gods…(124)

A journey of destiny is also a journey of faith. Without faith in your ability to reach destination, a journey of destiny will suffer a stillbirth. The faith is your own faith, not anyone’s. If Jesus had relied on Peter’s faith, not his own, for the success of his journey of destiny, the journey would have miscarried because Peter lost faith when it mattered most, and Peter was his closest disciple…(218)

Because the ends of life do not inspire me, I have no aim. I can choose like everyone to be sentimental and vain and appoint a great end for life and contrive an aim to achieve the end. But I can choose like myself to be reasonable and appoint no great end to life and to contrive no aim….(218 )

When I look at the ends men deploy their energy to achieve, I am convinced there is no need for effort. When I look at things that give us happiness, I am happy we have not disappointed those who said life is all folly. When I look at the things people find meaning in, I get less worried we will ever get anywhere.

I am a wise man that has weaned himself of the folly of ambition. Because I have weaned myself of this folly, I neither have to labour for any end nor can I be betrayed to agony by a disappointing end… (218) 



Flowing into courage, he says:

Real men are masquerades. A full grown masquerade scares even spirits into submission. A man who is not a masquerade is most likely a woman running from masquerades…(199)


Flowing into perseverance, he says:

Hang on. Life is a game. When you think you have lost out, you may be about winning…(200)

When it is coming, success does not sing or beat drums. So you can’t hear it when it is near. After reaching out for success all your life, it will be tragic, if your hand falls to your side when success is stretching out its hand to rescue you…(200)


Flowing into death, he says:

I do the best I can while I have life. Death will do the best it can when it has me.

Death is not something you fear when you are in it. Life is not something you love when you are out of it…(437)


Flowing into chance, he says:

From what I see, life has no preference for anyone, but has chance for everyone. The train of chance is rattling through town, be at the station in time to take it…(197)


Flowing into life, he says:

With me as with everyone, life began sweet; a little later it became sour; much later it became bitter. When it was sweet, I was out of tongue to enjoy its taste. Now that it has gone bitter. I am full of tongue and throat to suffer its taste…(547)

People affect to care, but who cares? People affect to see, but who sees? People affect to know, but who knows? People affect to be certain, but who is certain? People affect to listen, but who listens? People affect to learn, but who learns? It is all Niminy-piminy. It is all affectations with little sincerity. It is all appearances with little reality. It is all show with little character…(548)

You live, no one cares. You die, no one cares. It is just that no one cares. Get it? Then stop whining for care. Pick up your ass and limp on without the care of the world…(548)

If life is a game, I am not a player. I am not even a fan. I am a mere spectator who now and then drifts into the torpor of total disinterest. ..(552)

The wind of life is in my face. The rain of life is on my back. I am drenched behind and blinded in front…(551)


Flowing into friendship, he says:

Friendship is an intimacy no solvent can dissolve; it is a serenity neither gain nor the lack of it can disturb. Whoever is a friend must also befriend your aspirations because without such friendship, the whole affair called friendship is a hollow one. A friend is one who shares your heartbeat in times of trouble. Friends who live in each others’ hearts and minds are likely to last longer as friends than those who live in each others’ pockets and lips…(805)


Flowing into songs, he says:

If life has any meaning, it can only be found in a song. A song is the only path to heaven I know of. The day begins in hell for me, but ended in heaven when I heard her singing a song my mother used to sing to me when I was a child. If there is a soul, it only speaks to us through a song. A song is some wine. When I am sane, a song gives me access to insanity and when I am insane, a song restores my sanity…(811) 


Flowing into story, he says:

 Life is a story and a story is life. People dread thinking. A story uses familiar, commonplace things and situations people are intimate with and understand without having to think. Thus, a story relieves people of the pain of thinking. This makes a story an exciting phenomenon. Because a story excites, because people listen more to stories, if you want to espouse a philosophy, do so through a story…(812)

A story and music are the most wonderful and exciting neighbours I know of. They are to my heart what manure and rain is to a farm. A story and music are God the Joy and God the Peace in my heart. They are the swell of ocean waves that nourish the malnourished sand in the coast of my heart. When there is drought in the heart, music is the rain that will spring life in the heart again. The winter of the heart is dispelled by the spring of a song or music. If night falls on the heart, a story is the sunshine that will expel the darkness that has entombed the heart. A story that is musical cast a spell on its listeners and music that is a story hypnotises its audience. Such story mesmerises and such music is opium. The lyrics and rhythm of the story or music are the elixir that gives the story or music the quality of a soap opera. Such story and music generate a kaleidoscope of feelings and images whose fascination bears the sweet scent of death. For me, any music that touches my native core; that plays on my emotional strings, calls out my genius and I receive revelations that gives the world more beautiful colours. Such music is opium that frees me from fetters that inhibit my genius and allows it roam the skies of freedom with the clouds. ..(812)

Anger and Shame

Flowing into anger and shame, he says:

Anger is a bomb; in fact, it is the only bomb. Without anger, bombs will not detonate and therefore there will be no bombs. Whatever begins in anger ends in shame. Anger is the child of arrogance and it ends up the orphan of shame…(773)


Flowing into pride, he says:

Pride is always a failure of judgment and an expression of folly. It opens the eyes of a man to what does not exist and shuts his eyes to what exist…(334)

Of all the feelings available to man, pride, a sense of dignity, a sense of being anything other than an animal are the most unfortunate, stupid and idiotic…(339)


Flowing into family, he says:

For many, the family is a happy little prison they will be unhappy without. That is why though every family member holds the keys to the gate of this little prison, very few open the gate to flee…(854)

Lawyers and Doctors

Flowing into lawyers and doctors, he says:

The lawyer has a good heart with a bad conscience, while the doctor has a bad heart with a good conscience. While the eyes of the doctor are on the pulse of his patient, those of the lawyer are on the purse of his client…(979)


Flowing into time, he says:

If you spare time, time will not spare you. If you don’t eat hyena’s meat, hyena will eat your own. Use time before time uselesses you…(424)

When you take out quality time to attend to your work, your work will in due season take out quality time to attend to you. You can’t waste time without regret, but time always waste you without regret.  You don’t own time; time owns you. You miss time; time does not miss you…(424)

Part of you died yesterday. It is only part that survives to today. Live and work with your part that lives on…(424)

Time is the best cash you have. It is the best opportunity you have. Invest it well. In what corporation should you invest your time? Which stocks or land should you buy with time? The best corporation you should invest your time is your talent. You don’t need a stockbroker to do this profitably. Often you don’t need to leave your house to do this. If you invest your time in idleness and wayward pursuits, you will receive dividends of hardship, sorrow and tears when you have no time to repent of your folly…(424) 


Flowing into action he says:

Action is like death; you only fear it before you are in it.  Once in it, you lose all your fears…(391)

Prizes are given only to those who participate in a sport, not those who do not – however good they may be in the sport. Only those who dare fare; only those who venture gain…(392)

The proficiency learning and thinking will not give you, doing will. The fears and doubts learning and thinking foist on you, doing vaporises. There is no knowing better than doing…(392)

History is about deeds, not thoughts. It is about what people did or did not do, not what they thought or did not think. If you want your name mentioned by history, you must do something. What you did not do only finds mention in what you did. What you did not do is merely a speck in the shadow of what you did…(392)


In a monologue on talent Philjez says:

Talent is a heady affair. It is the nectar of the gods. There is no wine as intoxicating as the wine of talent. 

My child, run with the wind. Never run against the wind. No race of life is ever won that is run against the wind. Your youth is a wind; your talent is also a wind. On these two legs, you can win any race.

Often people out of station with their talent find themselves out of station with their fortunes. If you must make any passion your god, let it be your talent. With your talent, you are sure of peace, happiness and eternal life… (27)

If there is heaven, your talent shall also take you there. Remember Jesus’ parable of the minas. The servants that used their talents well were admitted to heaven while the one that did not use his own was thrown into hell. .. (29)

The sure way you can keep your date with your destiny is to develop your talent.  Fail to develop your talent and you miss your flight to the stars where your rendezvous with your destiny is…(45)

People are often more excited by a gift made to them by people than the gift of nature. Whoever does not develop his talent has rebuffed the gift of nature and his destiny will rebuff him. Young man, claim the gift of nature in good season before time runs out on you. ..(45)

In the biblical story of talents, of three servants, two made use of their talents while only one did not make use of his. In real life however, it is only few people that use or even know their talents while the majority do not use or do not even know their talents. ..(45)

While in the biblical story those who do not use their talents will go to hell on the last day, in real life whoever does not use his talent is in hell already. No wonder so many are either in the hell of poverty or that of professional dissatisfaction on earth! ..(45)

Whoever is born is married to life. Whoever life marries, it gives a dowry. Your talent is as much your dowry as it is your dower. Your talent is no less a means of survival than the fangs and claws of the lion are. Strike life with your claws and you are sure to have meat. ..(46)

Life is a funeral. In its funeral, life gives to every widow a dower. Wretched is the widow that does not claim her dower… (28-29)

            Speaking against talent he says:

Yet, what is the dower of the imbecile? How does the person without opportunity afforded by education and circumstances claim his dower? You may try to make sense out of a claptrap, but a claptrap will surely make nonsense of itself…(46)

For so many, life is offered on terms of a Hobson’s Choice – a choice between what is offered and nothing at all. Indeed, for everyone, life at a certain basic human level is offered on terms of a Hobson’s Choice: Everyone has to breathe, eat and excrete or die…(46)


Flowing into n love, he says:

Loving you has made me develop respect for my own taste… (1,134)

You have taken my heart and it seems I have a soul you want to come and take. Without a heart and soul, if there is heaven, with what will I enter it?

My baby, if I succeed in getting to the stars, I will take you along with me to the sky where like clouds we will copulate to produce rain for the earth. With two of us in the sky, the earth will not suffer the drought of ideas again…(1,136) 

Because I loved you, where you were ugly, I only saw beauty; where I was supposed to see your faults, I saw good deeds; where I was supposed to chastise you, I praised you. You could not sin in my eyes. There were neither failings in your thoughts nor flaws in your actions. With me, you were all of good report in thoughts and actions, and no charge could be brought against you. Yeah with you love with me was very blind. … (1,134)

Yeah, love cures all defects and absolves all sins. It is the blood of the lamb that washes away all sins turning sinners into saints. And so you whose sins were as dark as scarlet became as white as snow.  You who were doomed to hell by sins were canonized into sainthood by love. … (1,134)   

You were a queen. Loving you, I felt like a king. You were a goddess. Loving you I felt like a god. … (1,134)

Because you were a queen, I came before you with the honour of royalty because I wouldn’t have been king without you being queen. Because you were a goddess, I came before you in awe and reverence because I wouldn’t have been a god without you being goddess. … (1,135)  

Baby, you are in my bloodstream and I am feeling warm where others are catching cold. You are playing on my heartstrings like a butterfly on the lilo of my village and I am getting giddy in the head. Ours is a coup de foudre – love at first sight…(1,138)

You more than complement me, you fulfill me. You more than refresh me, you renew me. This thing I am feeling about you is not ordinary and it must have been triggered by something extraordianary in you. If I don’t make heaven, but make you, you are heaven enough for me. … (1,137)

Ah … this fresh feeling washing over me is so wholesome and awesome. I am feeling like I have been washed inside and outside and everything stale in and out of me has been washed off. It is so cooing and enlivening. It is giving life a new face I don’t know it has. Ah …is this me and is this life? What excitable festival of feelings am I going through? … (1,137)

The whole world benefits when a man loves a woman with the passion I have for you… (1,139)


Flowing into marriage, he says:

Marriage is the first community and first religion of humanity. As you can die without knowing yourself, you can die without knowing your wife. Politics, economy and religion are the tripod marriage stands on. The less politics there is in courtship, the less economy and religion you need to sustain the marriage that courtship delivers. As marriage can be a drudgery, bachelorhood or spinsterhood can be a worse drudgery. You can’t remain unmarried without having a cynical view of life. The first question God should ask a forty-year-old man who dies is, were you married? If the answer is No, God needs not ask him another question before saying, ‘Go to hell!’ …(852)

Yet, leave your father and mother and cleave to your wife? Not too nice.  Not too humane. Not too filial. Out of alignment with the duties of a son to his parents. Out of harmony and courtesy with the demands of the mores of custom and tradition. What if your father and mother had left you in your infancy and cleft to themselves as you are now leaving them in their old age? (852)


Flowing into beauty, he says:

Beauty is like an egg; it is either eaten up soon or it gets rotten. It is a snake; you are either bitten by it or betrayed by it. It is flower to the eyes. While it opens up, the eyes itch to behold it. It is like wine in the head; while chiming in the head its charge can’t stop smiling…(892).

Beauty is a faraway thing. It is a hazy or misty thing that distance produces. Whoever or whatever is beautiful at close quarters is truly beautiful…(618)


Flowing into suicide, he says:

Before you reach the point people commit suicide, you wonder why they do so. When you get to the point, you wonder why you haven’t done so…(790)


Flowing into war, he says:

The good thing about war is that if it fails to remind man he is worse than an animal, it will not fail to make the case he is worse than animal.

Football is war without drawing blood; war is football without scoring goals.

Language and Style

The text of The Mad Professor of Zwigwi is replete with the use of plain language to describe realities that exist within and around the human condition. The thoughts of Professor Philjez are expressed through the stream of consciousness technique and are developed through his psychological consciousness. The stream of consciousness Lilymjok adopts to express Philjez’s consciousness glides into poetry, and into drama without losing their prose character.

The shift into poetry in the text is regarded as a song from the wind. Philjez’s poetic expressions show waves of inspirations flowing from a well-developed, quick mind. In mind and expression, he seems quick as the wind he listens to. Like the wind, he is random and not committed to a fixed direction in his thoughts and expression of these thoughts. There arises from his windy manner of thought and expression, a crisscrossing of thoughts and ideas that are delivered in a random way. Though delivered in a random way, this does not disturb the high quality of these thoughts and ideas even when the reader has issues systematizing them in his mind.  

The use of stream of consciousness technique is eminent in the text. Each line of thought is well articulated indicating that the mind of the speaker follows his words. Each chapter ends in a manner that introduces the next chapter.

The use of rhetorical questions in the text is also significant. Most of the perceived answers derivable from these questions add enormous pedagogical value to the content of Philjez’s verbal outpourings. For instance, Philjez asks “where is the meteor flashing through the sky going to? Where will it land? What will become of its glory? (91)

Philjez talks about madness on a light note as though it is a mental condition everyone should aspire to access. “Madness surely is a sweet thing (357). The question arises, will a sane man ever think madness is worth a trial? Is insanity an advanced form of sanity that needs to be tested for certain cynical or hypothetical reasons?

When the wind enters one’s head, one access the sweet mental state of madness. “the wind has entered your head [and] you must follow it when you are mad”(357) Perhaps this is why mad people are always moving about. Drawn by the wind they must move.

According to Philjez “…madness brings nothing new. It only gives a man freedom to do and say what he has always wanted to do or say” (359). To some extent true. When drunk, a drunken person says what has always been in his mind.

Professor Philjez is committed to the happiness of trees perhaps more than he is committed to the happiness of humans. In his farmhouse, his happiest moment is when he sees a herd of monkeys gambolling past his farmhouse. Then his happiness is indescribable. It is this commitment to nature that eventually led to his death.

‘‘On seeing Prof. Philjez, he quickly closed the bonnet and started the taxi. Prof. Philjez thought he was in a hurry to pick him to campus, but soon thought differently. The little man with his beady eyes swimming in his head charged the taxi at him like a wanton cow that had broke stable.

Was he like the short man in Zwigwi University having his siesta while driving? Philjez wondered, alarmed by the vehicle surging towards him. With the agility of a cat, he jumped clear leaving the taxi to plunge into an abyss behind him. It burst into flames moments after landing on its roof in the gorge. From the roaring flames, Prof. Philjez could hear the screams of the taxi driver trapped in the fire. More distinctly, he could hear the squealing of a rabbit trapped in the conflagration.  

‘Oh, no! Oh, no!’ Prof. Philjez screamed by the edge of the gulf on hearing the squeaks of the rabbit trapped in the fire. ‘What am I living for? I have outlived my life. Death failing to come for me, I should have long gone for it.’ Saying this, he jumped into the raging fire and was seen and heard no more.’’ (p.1172)

There is a limited use of characterization in the text. This leaves doubt as to whether there is any linkage of the text with any form of the novel genre. According to Edwin Morgan Foster, the basic tenets of the novel spells that a novel should have more than one major and minor character that make up a plot. These characters are also to be known intimately by the reader, likened and associated to real and contemporary beings who share the same attributes as those in the novel (35).

In The Mad Professor of Zwigwi, apart from Philjez, there is Tokula, Helen Philjez’s former wife and the taxi driver who features at the beginning and end of the text. There are therefore one major and three minor characters that feature prominently in the text in their own right. In between them, there are several voices Philjez the major character introduced into the text when talking reminds him of them. From this, The Mad Professor of Zwigwi meets the requirements of a novel stipulated by Edwin Morgan Foster.

Be the above as it may, the very meaning of a novel frees it from the strictures of requirements. A novel by popular definition is something refreshingly new, something unusual, something inventive, something different. Going by this popular definition of a novel, Edwin Morgan Foster stipulation of a fixed form for novels is a negation of novel in its popular sense. Important as characters are in a novel, verisimilitude trumps them particularly in the novel that is inventive and refreshingly new. 

From the foregoing, if The Mad Professor of Zwigwi is not a novel by Edwin Morgan Foster’s stipulation, it is certainly one by the popular definition of a novel. By this, Kyuka Lilymjok has broken new grounds in the novel form that can be exploited to advance the cause of literature. There is no doubt that The Mad Professor of Zwigwi apart from beingaliterary text is a mind-boggling storehouse of ideas  that should be studied and analysed in separate contexts to ascertain its worth and relevance within the African and global context.


From his works – The Lone Piper and the Birds’ Case, Sieged, The Old Woman and the Birds, The Dark Star North, Twilight for a Vulture, Our Lady with the Sword, The Disappointed Three and The Mad Professor of Zwigwi under review, it is clear Kyuka Lilymjok is a naturalist steeped deep in naturalism. As a naturalist, he is an eco writer with passionate views about nature. As such writer, choral voices tingle out of the meadows of the spheres of his novels. He is the hand while nature the mind and heart that move his hand to write. Writing for nature, trees protest against him in his books; protest against their being turned to paper by paper industries:

There are books with no meat – no edible parts, essence, or material for thought. The authors of such books have sinned against the trees that were felled to produce the papers their books are printed on, and they have sinned without atonement. There are books with plenty meat – edible parts and materials for thought. The authors of these books have also sinned against the trees that were felled to produce the papers their books are printed on; but they have sinned with atonement. (p.150 The Mad Professor of Zwigwi).

Throughout The Mad Professor of Zwigwi, the feelings and thoughts of Professor Philjez are expressed from his disturbed but fecund mind that soars into the sky like an unbounded eagle. Using Freud’s consciousness and unconsciousness postulations, a spit in a bucket portion of Philjez thoughts and expressions has been directly or indirectly touched in this paper in relation to common and rare human conditions and experiences.

Works Cited

Achebe, Chinua. Morning Yet on Creation Day. London: Heinemann, 1975. Print.

Edward, Sackey. “What is Africa Doing with the Novel.” Nokoko. 1 (2010). 9-47.Print

Forster, Edwin Morgan. Aspects of the Novel. London: Arnold, 1927. Print

Freud, Sigmund. Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis Part 1 & 2. London: Hogarth Press, 1963.Print.

Kyuka, Adamu Lilymjok. The Mad Professor of  Zwigwi. Zaria: Faith Printers International, 2017. Print.

Sussman, Henry. Psyche and Text: The Sublime and the Grandiose in Literature, Psychopathology and Culture. Albany: State University of NewYork Press, 1993. Print

Sheila Trask in The US Review of Books. Web

wa Thiong’o, Ngugi. “Author’s Note.” Homecoming. London: Heineman, 1972. Print

Wright, Elizabeth. Psychoanalytic Criticism: A Reappraisal. New York: Routledge, 1998. Print.

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