Being and Nothingness: Trauma, loss and alienation in Tsitsi Dangarembga’s The Book of Not

Authors

  • Yuleth Chigwedere

Abstract

In this article, I reveal how Dangarembga’s narrative echoes Fanon’s “black skin, white masks” psy-chology. The protagonist’s internalisation of a Eurocentric view of her race and culture culminates in a profound belief in her own inferiority and that of her people. I use Laing and Fanon’s psychoanalytic theories to portray the protagonist’s struggle with her sense of identity and ontological security. I argue that the subsequent fractured sense of self she experiences affects her to such an extent that shame, guilt and self-negation dominate her mental make-up. What emerges is that the destabilising effect of the trauma of blackness results in a nullification of subjectivity - a total sense of not-being - that causes the protagonist to plummet into the depths of depression.

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Published

2016-11-15

How to Cite

Chigwedere, Y. (2016). Being and Nothingness: Trauma, loss and alienation in Tsitsi Dangarembga’s The Book of Not. Journal for Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences, 169–183. Retrieved from http://journals.unam.edu.na/index.php/JSHSS/article/view/1045

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Section

Articles