From Rhodesia to Zimbabwe via Oxford and London : a study of the career of Dambudzo Marechera

Pattison, David, 1941-

Literature; Mass media; Performing arts; History; Philosophy; Religion
September 1998

Thesis or dissertation

© 1998 1941- David Pattison. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

[From the introduction] : In my first chapter I will offer a review of Marechera's reputation and the critical reception given to his work, both during his life and since his death. In Chapter Two I Will outline the major theoretical  issues raised by Marechera's work: Art versus psychological catharsis; the artist-as-communal-spokesman versus the artist-as-Romantic-individualist; nationalism versus literary universalism. Chapters Three, Four, Five and Six will then consider in sequence, the work produced in Oxford, in London and in Harare, tracing the   writer's physical and psychological deterioration through his evolving prose style. Each of these chapters will also focus on a major relevant critical issue. Thus Chapter Three will examine The House of Hunger, written following Marechera's arrival in Oxford, in the context of 'culture clash', 'the African heritage' and Postcolonialism which so preoccupied its original reviewers. Chapter Four will examine Black Sunlight and The Black Insider,  written while the author was destitute in London, in terms of Jung's 'neurosis or art' debate. Chapter Five will examine Mindblast and Chapter Six will examine Scrapiron Blues, both containing material written after  Marecheras' return to Harare, making reference to the historical and socio-political context of post-colonial Zimbabwe and to the writer's unsuccessful attempts to establish a role with the nation builders. I will conclude in Chapter Seven by discussing Marechera's place within the Zimbabwean literary canon, the current relevance and influence of his work and the implications this holds for the future of Zimbabwean writing.

Department of English, The University of Hull
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