Showing posts from May, 2011

Herta Muller: The Voice of the Dispossessed

Herta Müller, a Nobel Laureate for Literature 2009, is a highly prolific Romanian-born German novelist, poet, and essayist, portrays in her writings the brutal Romanian dictatorship and also the rootlessness of the exiled subjects.  Her works depict the harsh conditions of life in Romania under the repressive Nicolae Ceausescu (1918-1989), an autocrat, a nepotist, and the President of the Communist Party, whose notorious secret police (the Securitate) crushed internal opposition and kept tight control over the government, media, and civil society.                    The grim life under Ceausescu’s oppressive regime and the harsh treatment of                      Romanian Germans has featured strongly in her works.  Corruption, intolerance                  and repression are also major themes in her writing. Besides this, Müller’s works describe the persecution of Romanian ethnic German by Stalinist Soviet occupying forces in Romania and the Soviet-imposed communist regime of Romani

Naipaul's The Masque of Africa

The Masque of Africa: Glimpses of African Belief (2010), Naipaul’s latest – quite likely last – full-length work of non-fiction, is a quest through the continent for the spirit of African belief, the belief systems that preceded the arrival of Christianity and Islam – which is very much in keeping with the legacy of Joseph Conrad, who is referenced several times in the book.   It is “a travel book which seeks to examine the workings of African traditional belief.” 4   It is written with a specific purpose, particularly to witness African belief by going far back to the beginning of things. The novel is an account of Naipaul’s journey through six countries with a view to investigating the effects of African belief on the progress of civilization.   The journey across the African continent takes Naipaul from Uganda, where he lived for a short while in the 1960s, to Nigeria, then to Gabon via the Ivory Coast and Ghana, and finally to South Africa.   During his journey, he attends rituals