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“I was not sorry when my brother died” – Nervous Conditions (1988)

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Last night, amidst the thousands of notes and papers in my bedroom, I bumped into an assignment I did about three years ago on Tsitsi Dangarembga’s marvel of a novel, “Nervous Conditions”.

It almost comes across as cliche when one says (of a book they thoroughly enjoyed) “the author grabbed me with the first line.” And in some instances, I do believe that people just say that to put emphasis on how much they enjoyed the book. Dangarembga, however, really does grab you with the opening line of “Nervous Conditions”. In fact, the first line in that novel is still what I consider to be my favourite, most hard-hitting opening lines in any book I’ve ever read. 

The opening sentence, “I was not sorry when my brother died,”  said by the narrator and protagonist, Tambu, is an opening to her encounter of gender inequality and colonialism in 1960-70s Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).

One of my favourite quotations from the novel reads:

“…condemning Nyasha to whoredom, making her a victim of her femaleness, just as I had felt victimised at home in the days when Nhamo went to school and I grew my maize. The victimisation, I saw, was universal. It didn’t depend on poverty, on lack of education or on tradition. It didn’t depend on any of the things I had thought it depended on. Men took it everywhere with them. Even heroes like Babamukuru did it. And that was the problem. You had to admit Nyasha had no tact. You had to admit she was altogether too volatile and strong-willed. You couldn’t ignore the fact that she had no respect for Babamukuru when she ought to have had lots of it. But what I didn’t like was the way that all conflicts came back to the question of femaleness. Femaleness as opposed and inferior to maleness.” – Tambu

I enjoyed this novel so much that if I was ever asked which book I wish I had written or thought of first, my response will always be “Nervous Conditions” by Tsitsi Dangarembga.

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Posted in Uncategorized

The Road Not Taken – Robert Frost (1916)

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Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads onto way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Posted in Books

Be a ‘good’ reader

 
I don’t like telling people what to do in their lives. It’s not who I am it goes against my philosophy of life and I loathe people who do it to me. But I am going to go against it in this post sort of. Just as a disclaimer I don’t always do these things so do as I write not as I do I guess. 

Have a book case
It makes life so easy even if you are disorganised a book case shows you all the books you have. I think there is nothing worse than books that are in boxes or draws  or worse on the floor. They are not cheap and if you love them you need to treat them with respect and you might buy the same book twice. You laugh. It’s happened. 

Have books in your book case that aren’t yours
You don’t know where they come from, or you do and you have had a fall out with the owner or worse the library stamp is still in it and it’s too late to take it back now. Just one or two though. If these types of books make up most of your library you have a problem. 

If books were people have an outcast. 
So Chris Ryan, Tess Gerritsen, and Tom Clancy, are insperatrable. John Grisham and Frederick Forsyth practically finish each other sentences but sometimes you need the different one to shake things up and make things more interesting. This is when you learn new things, see the world in a different light and become a more interesting, empathetic person. And unlike people your outcast won’t be picked on by Chris Ryan’s crew. 

You book case must be fluid. 
New books must constantly be entering and others must be leaving even if on loan. A book is meant to be read if all your books are stagnant features on your book shelf then they are nothing but decoration. They are hungry libraries praying for new books and there are friends who are aimlessly walking up and down book shop shelves looking for a book to read but finding nothing not knowing the perfect book is on their friends shelf. Stop being selfish. 

Have friends who read.
I always tell people who tell me that you don’t need to go to church to be a Christian that church is not a necessity but a privilege. It’s hard being alone and doing stuff by yourself having people around you who read help you chose something you like, bring you the perfect book at the perfect time, warn you against a book you think you might enjoy but you actually won’t. Having people to share this with is great if you don’t have anyone like that I suggest you could always seek a professional. There are people who work in books stores and love reading.  Go to all the books stores in your neighbourhood till you find one you like. 

So that’s all I can come up with for now. 
If I missed anything that is important to you. I am sorry. (Not really though)
Happy ‘good’ reading everyone. 

“To love at all is to be vulnerable” – C.S. Lewis

“To love at all is to be vulnerable” – C.S. Lewis

I was sitting over dinner with an old friend when we started talking about “matters of the heart”. A common theme in this conversation, however, was the fear of falling in love, at which my friend suggested that I visit the attached link – a brilliant pictorial of a quotation by C.S. Lewis. 

The quotation, from “The Four Loves”, reads:

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket — safe, dark, motionless, airless — it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.”

Hits the spot.

Drinking in your 20s

Drinking in your 20s

I like drinking. I like drinking a lot. Not to get wasted or drunk but I love the taste of the alcohol that I drink. A good beer, rum, and whiskey recently. But I have always been worried about being a alcoholic because alcoholics can’t drink and I love drinking (yes love judge me I don’t care). But alcoholics love drinking so am I am alcoholic?

I am going to assume is a worry for most young adults especially because of the excessive amounts that we drink legally as soon as we turn 18 because we can at anytime. We even come up with stupid rules like don’t drink alone because are are aware that we can’t judge ourselves on the amount.
 
But this article showed me what true alcoholism is. Of you are like this person it’s a good time to find an AA meeting near you. But if you aren’t and fear you are. Get over yourself your have many problems in your life but this is not one of them. I won’t post from the Thought Catalogue often but this one was worth the share. This has changed the way I look at alcohol and true dependency on it.