The Pains of Colonialism
Examining Tsitsi Dangarembga’s novella Nervous Conditions (1988)
The condition of a native is a nervous condition.
(From the introduction to Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth)
Tsitsi Dangarembga is an African novelist and filmmaker from Zimbabwe. Nervous Conditions (1988) was her first novella after her 1987 play She No Longer Weeps. Her works usually have a feminist purview. However, the particular work would be scrutinized from a colonial lens.
As a student of comparative literature, I found this text worthy of study. It gave me an insight into a completely different culture from mine. Africa and India share many similarities in relation to tribal culture, orature and community-based living. Also, since we both were co-sufferers in our shared struggle against colonialism, therefore this piece was found apt to be taken up. It is a quest to find out how their colonial experience differed from ours by deeply analyzing the text. The stance taken would be of the twenty-first century post-colonial Indian student.
Dangarembga, T., & Daniel, S. (1988). Nervous conditions (p. 61). London: Women's Press.
Fanon, F. (1965). The wretched of the earth. Translated [from the French] by Constance Farrington.
Guillén, C. (1993). The challenge of comparative literature. Cambridge, Mass./London.
wa Thiong'o, N. (1985). The language of African literature. New Left Review, (150), 109.
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