New Historicist Dimensions in Helon Habila’s Measuring Time

Jonas Egbudu Akung


This paper seeks to explore the New Historicist dimensions in the Nigerian novel with a focus on Helon Habila’s Measuring Time. The Nigerian history as seen by Habila has not validated many assumptions and needs to be revised .This revision of history by Habila puts the Nigerian history in proper perspective. The new historicist dimensions in this novel include: history, culture politics and the military. It is the position of this paper that the Nigerian writer should begin to write about Nigeria’s most recent history. It is the exploration of this most recent history in Habila’s Measuring Time that this paper sets out to examine using the tenets of new historicism. This theory examines primarily the historical as well as cultural aspects of the text. It also sees the text as an associate unit of other texts and it is in the network of these texts that meaning is realized. This most recent history as seen in this novel includes religious crises, corruption, the military usurpation of political power and electoral fraud. The paper reveals that if Nigeria would get her elections right and put right leaders in place, there would be a multiplier effect on other sectors of the polity and the wellbeing of the citizenry would be improved. The paper opines that the failure of Nigerian leaders to manage their affairs should not be blamed only on colonialism. Both the leadership and followership have a duty not to fail.



colonialism, corruption, culture, dictatorship, historicism, politics.

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