Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 3,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

Cafe Conversations: Liquified Humanity

Cafe Conversations is a Brittle Paper treat that ought really to be called Cafe Blather because it is a collection of disjointed babbling about the most random issues. For a taste of the previous Cafe Conversations click here.

Drinking tea is bliss. Smell, texture, and tastelessness: killer combo of Zen and everything thing we both think Zen means. Tea is better than coffee. More elegant. More dignified. I love tea. And work really hard for my love because I take it unsweet. Contrary to whatever connoisseurs think, tea without sugar is tasteless. Tasteless is actually worse than bitter or sweet the same way that lukewarm is definitely worse than hot or cold. Both forms of blandness are boring.

But then lukewarm is also just plain weird. That’s why St. John told the Church of Laodicea that they had to chuck their lukewarmness or stand the trauma of being spat out by God. “Because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of my mouth, the lord said. Considering that the Divine esophagus is lined with myriad and bejeweled mansions, why would anyone want to be expectorated from it? On a serious note, though, imagine being spat out by a divine being. What would it take for a person to be spat out by divinity? What crime would you have had to have committed?

What does it mean to be lukewarm? I know. The figure of the lukewarm is a limit figure who is neither cold nor hot. It has no place in the oral system of the divine. It dwells in a threshold. A fuzzy zone. A non-place where the non-identifiable live. The very edge of the world: where the only life possible is death. Kind of like people on death row.

To exist in the in-between-ness of lukewarmness is to be disposable, to die a death for which no one will be punished. You are lukewarm when you can neither bring your oral dwelling the pleasure of sweetness nor the therapeutic sting of bitterness.

I will vomit you out of my mouth,” the lord said. But then, why does God have liquefied humans in his mouth in the first place?  Was he trying to drink them? Is that not weird? A cannibal God? But then, God is an inscrutable image for all things and nothing. He too is a limit figure…If you know what I mean.

Tags: , , , ,

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."

Archives

“What Keeps Girls from Knowing the Power in Them?”: Mona Eltahawy on the Importance of Female Rage

Mona ELTAHAWY

Egyptian writer and outspoken feminist Mona Eltahawy is asking important questions about the necessity and possibilities of female anger. In […]

Safia Elhillo’s Poem Used for Under Armour’s PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics Campaign | Watch Video

safia-elhillo

American sports- and footwear company Under Armour is using a poem by Sudanese Safia Elhillo, titled “Kintsugi,” for its “Unlike […]

Fundraising in Progress for Onyeka Nwelue’s $27,000 Spine and Hip Dislocation Treatment Following Vehicle Accident

27867091_10155878379480937_8977074959532754883_n

Nigerian writer Onyeka Nwelue is currently hospitalised following spine and hip dislocations in a vehicle accident. It happened in Abuja on […]

Edited by Chris Abani, “Lagos Noir” Anthology Features Nnedi Okorafor, Igoni Barrett, Chika Unigwe, E.C. Osondu

LagosNoir

Award-winning novelist and poet Chris Abani is editing a 224-page anthology called Lagos Noir. Set to published by Akashic Books in […]

Long-time Director Lizzy Attree Leaves the Caine Prize

lizzy attree - caine prize

After seven years as its Director, Lizzy Attree has left the Caine Prize. A mainstay on the literary scene, the industrious […]

The Brittle Paper Digest: 79 Notable Pieces of 2017

St Mark's Bookshop - Image architectural office

It isn’t that time of the year when we look back on what happened in it—that time is December, and […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.