Morenga: A Novel
New Directions Publishing, 2003 - 340 pages
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 levelshistorical, 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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MORENGAUser Review - Kirkus
The German colonial experience in Africa is the subject of this dense, often fascinating 1983 novel by the German author (Midsummer Night, 1998, etc.).Relations between German colonists and both ... Read full review
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already animals arms arrived asked attack barrel battle Bethany brandy called camel Cape Captain carried cattle Colonel Colonial Company course dead Deimling detachment diary enemy English eyes face fact felt finally fire forced four German going Gorth Gottschalk Guard hand head heard Herero horse Hottentots immediately Keetmanshoop Klügge land later leave Lieutenant living look Major military mission missionary months Morenga morning Morris moved natives never night officers once ordered oxen passed patrol person pulled question rain reached rebels received remained replied riding sand seemed seen shot side sitting soldiers South South West Africa staff standing stood strange taken thing thought told took Treptow tribe tried troops turned village wagon wanted Warmbad Wenstrup Witbooi wounded Zeisse