Poststructuralism did not help me, personally, that much, apart from getting me to understand my environment better. Well, surely that is a significant thing, but what I needed was far, far more, because I had to open up some subjective space for myself to repair my damaged psyche. This wasn’t about acknowledging gender and status lines in the industrialized worlds and working with such knowledge to gain ascendency. Rather, I had basic structural repair work to do. I really had no space for myself within my own psyche. That was the fundamental problem. I had to try different forms of experimentalisation to open some up. Freudianism proved the least useful of all things so far as this project went, since it places all sorts of things under the auspices of pathology and does not allow that it is possible to do anything other than acknowledge the character structure one seems to have ended up with. I am speaking about academic Freudianism here.
Also much of poststructuralism borrows from Lacanianism, which has the same problem of rigidity as Freudianism. You don’t need rigidity piled on when rigidity is the problem in the first place, creating a very narrow psychical space to inhabit. Dambudzo Marechera’s writing was, however, liberating. You had to go deep into the trauma of the war experience (which was specifically useful to me as war had been the cause of my psychical limitations). You had to re-experience these historical events and then unite the resulting emotional energy with a realization that identities are also a product of history and therefore fluid and changeable.
This is why Marechera’s writing “worked” for me in a way that other systems or theories did not.