Literary Monuments


tall tales and all



A Tale of Exile

Literary Monuments


Audience Response

  1. Anthems of the Forests
  2. The Man With an Axe
  3. Mourn With Me, But No Flowers Please.
  4. Bloodsweats of Gethsemane

The idea of the "Literary Monuments" genre did not occur until I completed The Man With an Axe and later visited the National Mall (commonly known as The Mall) in Washington, D.C. The Mall is a stretch of powerful monuments built to honour America's national heroes. Soldiers who fought in the first and second World wars, Vietnam, Korea, a couple of presidents, and now Martin Luther King's memorial is in construction. Visiting the Mall leaves you changed, even when you don't immediately notice it. It solidifies life in stone and gives those who've gone by a measure of immortality.

When I got back to my writing, I changed the caption on The Man With an Axe from "In memory of a great artiste", to "A literary monument in memory of a great artiste." There begun the monuments genre. A number of them are to persons I've never met, yet whose stories read in articles, narrated to me by their loved ones or acquired accidentally, touched a nerve and caused me to immortalize them in words.

Many times (ok, all the time), I have found myself grieving with a sense of deep loss while building a monument with blocks of words for someone I never knew. And after I'm done building, I feel as if I've just snatched a priceless golden coin from the raging rivers of Forgetsville.

Please note that the Monuments are fundamentally aesthetic works of art, just like solid monuments. Although I have used fiction as moulding material in a number of them, serious research to inform and maintain verisimilitude goes into their creation. They are also stories that entertain and I so enjoy telling them!

The greatest reward that has come from the Monuments is having a friend pen one for his sister (see Mourn With Me, But No Flowers Please).

Enjoy viewing the monuments!

Mkawasi Mcharo Hall


© mkmc