Finished the 2nd novel for my thesis (2 more to go! I wanna get those 2 done by next week, so if I’m scarce, you know I’m on my grind.)
Modikwe Dikobe’s “The Marabi Dance.” Very good novel written and published during Apartheid. The Marabi dance is a place where usually young people go to dance, and it’s seen as non-Christian, unlady-like, and basically as a negative place by most in the town. The novel displays really interesting expectations from women|men and families|children.
What I have found most interesting about the two novels I’ve read so far is how Afrikaners (South African Whites) are portrayed. They are like ghosts really… on the outskirts of the action (I guess that’s segregation for you…) but when they do enter into the drama, they are being either completely disrespectful or acting as religious figures. Either way, there’s always a superior|inferior stench to the interactions.
And in the novels, much criticism is made of Christianity’s call for everyone to “Love thy neighbor.” Because, the Black characters are tired of being told (by the people who don’t love them) to love the people who don’t love them.
The Great Gatsby was last updated in 1924. You don’t need it to be refreshed, do you? Maybe nobody will care about printed books 50 years from now, but I do. When I read a book, I’m handling a specific object in a specific time and place. The fact that when I take the book off the shelf it still says the same thing - that’s reassuring. Someone worked really hard to make the language just right, just the way they wanted it. They were so sure of it that they printed it in ink, on paper. A screen always feels like we could delete that, change that, move it around. So for a literature-crazed person like me, it’s just not permanent enough.
Afrikan Alphabets – The story of writing in Afrika is a book written by Zimbabwe designer Saki Mafundikwa.
“Afrikan alphabets have a rich cultural and artistic history. Many continue to be in current use today. Their story, however, is little known due largely to their past suppression by colonial powers. This book sets the record straight. Both entertaining and anecdotal, African Alphabets presents a wealth of highly graphical and attractive illustrations.
Writing systems across the Afrikan continent and the Diaspora are included, analyzed and illustrated: the scripts of the West Africans – Mende, Vai, Nsibidi, Bamum and the Somali, and Ethiopian scripts. Other alphabets, syllabaries, paintings, pictographs, ideographs, and symbols are compared and contrasted.”