CULTURE

House Of Hunger Legend, Dambudzo Marechera’s Work Immortalized In Germany

A comprehensive archive of the legendary Zimbabwean, writer and poet Dambudzo Marechera’s estate has been established at Humboldt University in Berlin. It was handed over by the late Zimbabwean writer’s literary executor and biographer, Flora Veit-Wild, professor of African literature at Humboldt up to 2012.

The archive comprises all the manuscripts which Marechera left behind at the time of his death in 1987, as well as a multitude of documents and photographs relating to his life and work, such as transcripts of interviews, letters, school records, Veit-Wild’s research notebook and many more. As the original documents were deposited at the National Archives of Zimbabwe in 1992, most of the written corpus in Berlin consists of photocopies.

The total of 23 folders and boxes are held at the departmental library of Asian and African Studies of Humboldt University and can be searched for under “Dambudzo Marechera Archive” through the university library’s electronic catalogue.  The library also houses a complete, open-access collection of all of Marechera’s published works, including translations into German, French, Spanish, Dutch, and Swedish and all the different editions of his first book, The House of Hunger.

In addition to the physical archive, a digital Dambudzo Marechera Media Repository has been established, which includes scans of the majority of documents and photographs and in addition, full versions of all the audio and video material featuring Marechera or related to this life and work, such as the Chris Austin “House of Hunger” film of the early 1980s.

The physical archive together with the digital repository and the collection of all published Marechera editions represents a unique source for research on a writer who during his short life radically changed the literary landscape of Africa and remains up to today a legendary inspiration for masses of worldwide followers. One can access the digital the repository here.

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