Homo Viator Ideals in the Postmodernist Creative Corpus of Salman Rushdie and Ben Okri

Kehinde Durojaiye Owoeye


The homo viator concept concerns humanity in its engagement with travelling that is beyond the
physicality of existence. This concept considers the spacio-temporal (spatio-temporal) omnibus of
human agents' earthly experiences, ranging from the philosophical to the most pedestrian of
involvements, all highlighting existence as mental travelling towards hope fulfilled and hope dashed,
through agonising conduits. The homo viator ideal is a given in the human being, and it has disparate
impressions on individuals, depending on ideological and social factors. Therefore, the present paper
tries to identify the varying ways through which Salman Rushdie and Ben Okri manifest the multiform
dimensions of the homo viator character and disposition in some of their works. To evaluate the homo
viator essentials in Okri's The Famished Road, Songs of Enchantment and Astonishing the Gods, and
Rushdie's Midnight's Children and The Moor's Last Sigh, this exegete avails himself of theoretical
notions like mainstream dialectical assumptions, existentialism, magic realism, postmodernism, Alfred
North Whitehead's process thought-view, and, of constitutive essence, Gabriel Marcel's insights into the
homo viator psychological makeup. These theoretical concepts serve a useful purpose in this analysis
because they are all concerned with the nature of being which the essay tries to ventilate in the selected
works of Salman Rushdie and Ben Okri. The analysis is a revelation about the works of Rushdie and Okri
that have been appreciated as compelling clarifications about cultural issues bordering on man's
beingness, the activist resentment of potentate mentalities, dialectic-inspired contradictions that exist in
earthly phenomena, and time as a driving force in man's wayfaring values, all bringing into view the
homo viator as an individual with subjective conceptions of life as may have been opened, life being a
tome trope, with its pages of multifarious and multidimensional sensibilities and experiences.


Homo Viator, Dialectic, Existentialism, Postmodernism, Whitehead's Process ontology

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