Wole Soyinka: Salutations to the Gut

(378 words)
  • Craig McLuckie (Okanagan College)

Salutations to the Gut, a small 84-page booklet, has some delightful phrasing: “‘sokoyokoto’ (lubricate-the-husband), ‘koniilo’ (he-shall-not-budge)” (4). The cultural specificity of these terms permits Soyinka to celebrate Yoruba culinary delights, with a passing comparison to other cultures: “These elevate the Yoruba above the common herd of gluttons, prepare us for the adventure of direct experience with the leading race of lyrical gastronomes” (5). The humour is tongue-in-cheek, with much of the essay disguised as a search for the religious principles that guide the Gut: “We know the body will survive without Head sustenance, but the Stomach, the god that rumbles and thunders when sacrifice is late, this god …

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McLuckie, Craig. "Salutations to the Gut". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 February 2004
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=14897, accessed 29 September 2016.]