Sunday, 29 May 2016

Nthikeng Mohlele - Pleasure

Having not read a Nthikeng Mohlele piece before Pleasure, I was quite surprised at the reflections so artfully documented in a book with a rather sensuous cover. By no means shying away from sensuality at all, the book in itself is less so about the act or pursuit of pleasure, rather than the notion thereof. Our protagonist Milton Mohelele (interestingly enough sharing our authors last name - a fact perhaps in need of further deliberation by someone more qualified than I) becomes obsessively consumed by a dream he has of a woman in 1945, and creates a character to couple with her who is imprisoned by Nazi's. A character who strangely enough, he would come to emulate in reality.
Milton frequently ponders on the women of his failed relationship's and while he is in his mid-fifties, he still finds himself in the shadow of his father who was an esteemed and brilliant author. He is a most ardent surveyor of human behaviour - the nuances in actions that create beauty or something worse and in those moments of raw emotion he see's pleasure. Too many of those moments coupled with the weight of the obsession, his fathers shadow and a string of failed relationships, eventually leads him into a life of recluse.
While not an easy-to classify-in-a-specific-genre type of book, Nthikeng has definitely created a unique literary work that gives the reader an impression of being a trusted sound board, or at least a getting a peek into a journal of internal reflection
*Book sponsored by Pan Macmillan

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