Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Zimbabwe's literary kinsmen: Together

From the National European Literary Scene:


Part I –Julius Chingono and the text Together

Genres: Poetry and short stories in one collection

Literary Elements: Irony, imagery, simile, pathos

Comfort Level: Easy reading (*but…be not deceived)

Synopsis: This collection permits the reader to gain an introduction into the art of Julius Chingono, a Zimbabwean poet and writer. As a political writer, unabashedly, he wrote of the times in which he lived. He wrote of the trials of his people. And often, one will find that his sentiments and findings are universal. For example, in this collection, there is a poem entitled ‘Curiosity’ which nearly ‘protrudes’ from the pages of this text onto today’s headlines. This poem is about a man who hears gun shots outside his home. He opens his door…only to become a victim of his own curiosity. The current Arab Spring has claimed many victims or bystanders in the same manner. The short story ‘We Waited’ is timely too. Chingono writes of people waiting for justice. The people wait in the same manner as those in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. As you know, no one could recognize Godot--even if he appeared in the play. No one would even know--if he had appeared. Justice is just as aloof and unrecognizable by the waiting masses in Chingono’s text. They await the opportunity to declare injustice and to claim justice. Justice never comes. In fact, tragedy awaits those who linger too long. In accordance with contemporary events, this selection of Chingono is too true. The Arab Spring has not brought justice to most who declared injustice.

The reader may shift gears and examine something a bit more personal in the‘I Lost a Verse’ poem. It’s about an interruption in verse. This selection may be illuminating because of the general trials that interrupt our own creativity and concentration. There is solace in knowing that Julius Chingono has suffered the same fate. But, he regained his tempo and wrote… once more.

Educators will enjoy the fact that Together permits you to teach the poems and short stories in installments. Readers, you will enjoy the fact that you can learn about Julius Chingono through his poetry and his short stories.

Critique: For those that enjoy the simple wisdom of Chinua Achebe, you will find itin Together. There are those who realize the cultural candor to be found in Langston Hughes and his ‘Simple’ short stories. You will find it in Together too. Sadly, Julius Chingono died too soon. There is much I would have asked him about his work and his life. But, Together will have to answer those questions…for now. I truly recommend this work.


European Literary Scene Examiner

Dr. Rosetta Codling is a literary scholar and critic. Her critiques of African and African-American literature have appeared in numerous journals throughout the world. Her latest critiques appears in The Journal of African Literature, Literary Criticism (IRACLC), The African Quarterly, and the CIEA7 World African Conference (2010). This year, she has served as a panelist at conferences in Puerto Rico, Peru, Portugal, and Spain. She is Education Editor for G&G Magazine, writing a column for educators. She is most currently composing her own book of short stories focusing on America's indigenous people. A graduate of CUNY, New York University, and Teachers College/Columbia University, Dr. Codling earned her doctorate degree from Bircham International University (Madrid). Professional honors have been awarded to her by U.S. Senator Charles Schumer and Congressman Gregory Meeks of New York.

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