Marechera’s history lessons

Marechera spoke of “what is the available reality?”  It means that for some people the available reality is very small, but that it is the job of people like him to make it bigger.  This is a related idea to that of parallel universes.  Now, I can’t remember how I suddenly thought he was expressing himself in parallel universes.  I think part of it might have been that the academics couldn’t see what I could see in his work, but surely there was more to it than this.  In one way it is quite obvious, though, for instance, he wrote a book, Black Sunlight, which has a protagonist, Chris, a photographer who somehow becomes “Christian” of Pilgrim’s Progress.  This outcome is because “Christian” took “Chris’s psychiatric drugs” and went to Devil’s End.  It’s a very confused universe, but it makes sense in shamanic terms, because in shamanic terms one has to get to the bottom of what is really wrong with oneself and society and not take corporate drugs to fix oneself.  Marechera himself was told to go under psychiatric care or lose his position at Oxford University.  But his illness was mostly political and would not have been cured by taking corporate drugs.  It seems that Marechera explores the ramifications of cooperating and the black joke he makes is that this will wreak havoc on the society that condemns him as mad.  He will become even more radicalised and leftwing — but only so long as he is made mad by blinded demands for conformity.  The better path is that he cures himself shamanically and gives us all historical lessons.  But not if we are not listening.

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