African terms of existence

African terms of existence

Between the view of life as basically a moral discourse and as politically dynamic is a huge experiential chasm.  My cultural affiliations — the ones I feel immediately in my gut — are with those who see the world in terms of power dynamics not in terms of competing moral discourses.

Maybe this relates to the violence in my blood, that sensibility that comes from being born African. If you speak a close enough strain to my language — that being the language which takes into account that  issues of life are related to issues of power — then you will be culturally closer to me, even as an enemy, than anybody who espouses that life is basically a matter of making correct moral choices for oneself.

But there it is: the fundamental human schism. And those who speak about morality are often really speaking about power, where those who speak superficially about power are often really moral crusaders. You have to know the differences.

Writer Marechera’s critical discourse is about power, and only lightly about morality. And his Western critics ) speak fundamentally in terms of a moral discourse. They even perceive a deeper discourse about power to be “mad”, although perhaps this is a slip of the tongue and what they really mean is that is “maddening”.

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