Wole Soyinka: I began writing, scribbling notes, you know, in prison. But it wasn’t actually published until after I’d come out. Writing became a therapy. First of all, it meant I was reconstructing my own existence. It was also an act of defiance. I wasn’t supposed to write. I wasn’t supposed to have paper, pen, anything, any reading material whatsoever. So this became an exercise in self-preservation, keeping up my spirits. It also, you had to occupy very long hours of the day, you know, not speaking to anyone. And I even — it wasn’t just writing. I evolved all kinds of mental exercises, even went back to those subjects which I said I hated in school, in particular mathematics. I started to try and recover my mathematical formulae by trial and error, and created problems for myself which I solved. You know, anything to keep the mind alive. As I said, it’s an exercise in self-preservation. Writing was just part of it.