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Zimbabwe: another Dambudzo Marechera?

Poet Tinashe Mushakavanhu has been compared to Dambudzo Marechera. eshuneutics disagrees: The gaps are more to do with a poet learning a visual syntax whereas the breaks in Marechera are a psychological terrain that has to be crossed with a struggle, with effort, with full engagement by the reader. I find Mushakavanhu’s poetry to be interesting, but to draw comparisons with Marechera is misguided: the obvious comparisons—beyond the fact that both have connections with Zimbabwe—are really quite spurious and detrimental to a developing poetic talent.

4 comments

  • Eshu has a very good point — you shouldn’t try to read Marechera without expecting his writing to challenge you. He is a very psychologically adept writer and he is interesting in sociological and psychological gaps in the mindsets of his readers.

  • Patrick Midzi

    The similarities which exist between the two writers are not in their poetry but in their stories. Tinashe is a polished writer, and I think this is due to his background as a literary critic, but his stories remind me of a younger Dambudzo still learning his craft. Which is sad because Tinashe could be an ernomous talent in his own right. Dambudzo is like an ever present shadow behind the work of any Zimbabwean who writes anything. We can’t run away from that. His influence is great, but I also think it is slighlty sinister.

  • Chimunhu Modaly

    I think Dambudzo’s works are of a great quality in all angles, and that anyone being compared to him should simply take that as a compliment, and that it is inevitable for any writer, from Zimbabwe, to be compared in one way or another, to Dambudzo.

    May I take this opportunity to kindly ask for the availability of the biography, the thicker text from Flora, of Dambudzo. I have seen the book once from a stranger but all my efforts to locate the book in Zimbabwe in all the bookshops. I am prepared to do the paying, of course.

  • Patrick Midzi

    Chimunhu has expressed the reverence Zimbabweans hold for Dambudzo’s work better than I did. For any Zimbabwean who has been to school not to have Dambudzo is something that you just don’t admit to. This “love affair” has sometimes clouded our sight to some of the (dare I say it!?) flaws in some of the later works of the giant. Unfortunately, this in itself is flawed because the comparison is between Dambudzo at the height of his powers & Dambudzo when his “literary horizon had receded.”

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