Thursday, December 20, 2007

Lunchtime read: The Black Madonna

This has been a struggle today and only got the chance for a very quick read of the Lessing. The themes that she has developed about colonial differences between races and master and slave come out in the short story The Old Chief Mshlanga.

A daughter of a white landowner discovers that there is a chief living nearby and the land her father cultivates and lives off once belonged to the chief. She feels no fear of the natives walking around with a gun and a couple of dogs that pin the locals to the trees, but she does feel afraid of the Chief. It is partly because he feels no fear of her that she is disturbed. Walking into his village she is made aware of an alternative world. But it is temporary because it is quashed and moved away by the government. A short but powerful tale of inequality.

Hopefully will be able to manage one or both of the last couple of stories tomorrow…

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