The title of this book, ‘Timshel,’ comes from a Hebrew word (Gen. 4:7) – Timshel or, in author Juliette Schlegl Fotsing’s version Timshall, is derived from John Steinbeck’s definition of it in “East of Eden.” That definition is “thou mayest rule over sin,’ and for Fotsing it opens a kind of divine desire in the minds of human beings. This autobiographical novel is about a life full of objections, heartbreak, humiliation, bullying, barriers, and temptations. It traces a path like a river – from the author’s native home in Africa to Germany, Sri Lanka, Ireland, and then London.
Steinbeck emphasizes this word as imperative, writing that each individual by taking stock of his or her past raises one question – was it good or was it bad? If she had chosen any other path in her pain filled life, would she have demons running after her in the process of surviving and making a life. What is very plain to see despite the fact of the character’s inherited problems as a Cameroonian and later issues of assimilation in Europe, is that her life has been based upon a moral foundation, a remarkably, even stunningly strong one. Thus, the Steinbeck imperative works as a perfect influence, the philosophical vehicle running throughout this book.
Fotsing writes with superb descriptive power, especially in the scenes where her character’s aloneness and the world’s indifference come together to create the most reflective passages in the book. In her early life, her education, her search for a job, and on to her career, there runs the psychological scar that seems to her more birthright than accidental set of circumstances – made by the serrations of history and destiny. Thus, her career or path in life is described in the subtitle A Saw-Toothed Career. Readers, though, can readily accept what the author says – it is truthful, a very intelligent and moving reading of a problematic world – and it is said in the spirit of a life-giver successfully transmuting the base elements into spiritual fullness.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.69(d)|