Jack Mapanje, Of Chameleons and Gods

Download PDF Save to Bookshelf Tweet Report an Error
Fiona Johnson Chalamanda (University of Stirling)

Jack Mapanje's first collection of poems, Of Chameleons and Gods made a very particular impact in Malawi after its publication in 1981 because the Censorship Board recognised its implicit criticism of the autocratic regime of Hastings Kamuzu Banda, and subsequently withdrew the book from circulation, despite its international reputation. The notoriety of the poems' political gesture has often deflected from the skill and beauty of the poems as they transform elements of Malawian oral culture into syncretic literary forms. Mapanje makes particular use of the praise verse form in making ironic, understated and satiric commentary on the political situation and its supporters. This rhythmic speaking voice is apparent in the poem “W…

322 words

Citation: Chalamanda, Fiona Johnson. "Of Chameleons and Gods". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 January 2001 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=3156, accessed 07 February 2023.]

3156 Of Chameleons and Gods 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.