ENGL 1F97 Quiz: Tsitsi Dangarembga Nervous Conditions

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18 Feb 2016
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Tsitsi Dangarembga Nervous Conditions
Epigraph
The condition of a native is a nervous condition.
Jean-Paul Sartre, form the introduction to Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched
of the Earth.
Native/ Settler
In the context of colonization, a “native” is an indigenous inhabitant of
the colonized land (aboriginal peoples, Africans in Africa)
Outline: Nervous Conditions
Debts to Frantz Fanon
Exploration of ideology and what it works to conceal
Examination of how stories shape lives
Reworking of Bildungsroman (or novel of education, coming of
age tale)
Investigation of the politics of space (colonial space)
Setting
Novel ends in 1980 just as Rhodesia becomes Zimbabwe
A land locked state in south-central Africa, bounded by South Africa,
Botswana, Zambia, and Mozambique
Moderate climate, fertile soil and rich mineral deposits attracted many
waves of migration
Debts to Frantz Fanon
Not a crude Marxism that explains everything directly through
economics
A subtle materialism that highlights complex historical currents
and how they shape individual lives, in spite of, and concealed
by, ideology of individualism e.g. fairy tale
Ideology of Individualism
Assumes that progress lies in capabilities and actions (free will)
of individuals
Pulling oneself up by ones bootstraps
Hard work and determination su<cient to conquer
Opening Scenes
First 50 pages weave description of Nhamo’s death with recollection of
process of colonial development
Suggests that two processes are inextricably connected
Nhamo, perhaps, should have been bildungsroman hero
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