Projecting a future already in place in Julius Ocwinyo’s fate of the banished and footprints of the outsider
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Prolepsis conveys the idea of anticipation or flash-forward; it occurs when the chronological order of events is disturbed and the narrator narrates events out of turn. As such prolepsis does in a teleological manner project a future which is already in place, lying in wait to be discovered by the reader. There is general consensus among narrative theorists that prolepses are much less common in novels than analepses, at least in the western novelistic tradition. Granting that the African novelistic tradition has modeled itself, at least in terms of structure, along the western novel, we can surmise that prolepsis has received relatively less attention among narrative theorists in general, and much lesser attention, if at all, among the scholars of the African novel. Much famed for his rare ability to craft analeptic scenes, the Ocwinyoian novel has hardly been studied for prolepses yet in their turning points, examples of narrative anticipation linger. In this paper I will attempt an analysis of the various forms of prolepses and the literary significances of such narrative loops in Ocwinyo’s Fate of the Banished and Footprints of the Outsider. I will adopt a qualitative research design, and data will be collected close reading; the paper will be anchored on the Genettian discoursal perspective of narrative theory.