An exciting historical novel set in the early 20th Century, about a black African leader and a bloody civil war in German-occupied Southwest Africa. Morenga, an early novel by Uwe Timm ( Headhunter, The Invention of Curried Sausage), engages the mind on many levels—historical, political, human. Set in German South West Africa in the first decade of the 20th century, it recounts the conflict between the colonial German Empire and the rebellious Africans of the Hottentot and Herero tribes led by the legendary Morenga. A daring and brilliant military tactician referred to as "the Herero bastard," he was fluent in several languages and by all reports a man of compassion, intelligence, and integrity leading his people towards freedom. Even though his revolt is suppressed and by the novel's end he is hunted down and killed, his importance as one of Africa's historic figures is assured.
Morenga has a fascinating story and Timm tells it with an ingenious mix of fact and fiction. Recounted through the eyes of Gottschalk, an engaging fictional military veterinarian, the narrative blends quotations from actual historic sources with gripping accounts of everyday life and military excursions. As he has repeatedly shown himself to be, Timm is a master storyteller, and his imagined scenes and characters are as real as the factual material he weaves into the story. The parallels between past events and later German history with its notions of the Untermensch (subhuman) and racial inferiority are subtly brought to mind while significant philosophical, political, and human issues are at play. Morenga is an intriguing novel of scope and significance and it has been well served by Breon Mitchell's fine translation.
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Uwe Timm (1940-) was born in Hamburg, Germany. After primary school he apprenticed as a furrier before attending college. He studied philosophy and German philology in Munich and Paris with a dissertation on the "Problem of Absurdities," and later won the Munich Literary Prize. He currently lives in Munich, Germany.Language Notes:
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German
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Book Description New Directions, 2003. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: NEW. New Hardcover, Satisfaction Guaranteed, Personal Service, International Shipping Available. Photos by Request. Bookseller Inventory # SKU0234849
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