Different Orders of Pleasure: Good Life and Human Flourishing in the City in Dambudzo Marechera’s Scrapiron Blues


In this article, I argue that Dambudzo Marechera’s Scrapiron Blues demonstrates different and varied orders of enjoyment and well-being in the city that challenge the authenticity and truthfulness of the narration of the enjoyment space(s) sanctioned by the ZANU PF led nation-state in Zimbabwe. I argue that Marechera provides fora in which enjoyment and well-being in the city boost subject self-actualisation, subject mobility, and subject creativity that contrast with the way spaces are conceived by the nation-state in Zimbabwe. In addition, I centralise well-being, enjoyment, pleasure, good life and human flourishing as values that are invaluable in people’s lives as portrayed in Scrapiron Blues. For the purposes of contextualising this examination, I discuss concepts such as eudaimonism and eireneism in order to demonstrate what characters in the text perceive as good life and well-being, although my emphasis is on eireneism. I argue that the variations and modes of human flourishing, enjoyment and good life that are depicted by Marechera create an environment where ‘all parties’ flourish and enjoy their identitarian categories, irrespective of the spaces sanctioned by Robert Mugabe’s government.

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