Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Tydskrif vir Letterkunde]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=0041-476X20180001&lang=es vol. 55 num. 1 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Modernities & our inner Africas</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2018000100001&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es <![CDATA[<b>Véronique Tadjo: Is there hope beyond the divisions in contemporary Africa?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2018000100002&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article discusses the Ivorian author Véronique Tadjo's representation of separation and division in a post-colonial African context through a close reading of three of her texts, namely The Blind Kingdom (1990), Queen Pokou. Concerto for a sacrifice (2004) and Far from my Father (2010). In Tadjo's novelistic universe, such divisions often require the intervention of a female protagonist, whose own existence is deeply influenced by tensions and frictions between two opposing camps. I shall argue that the agency of these protagonists is never futile and may even point to a way to go beyond the original divisions. Tadjo's representation of division also transgresses generic boundaries to address socio-political problems in unique ways. I shall demonstrate how the author draws on various genres such as poetry, the African folktale, the novel, as well as autofiction in order to engage the reader in a profound reflexion on the current state and future of the African continent. <![CDATA[<b>Revisiting trauma and homo religiosus in selected texts by Mongo Beti and Veronique Tadjo</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2018000100003&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This paper locates religion within the literary narratives of traumatogenic experiences such as war and genocide as depicted in The Poor Christ of Bomba by Mongo Beti and Véronique Tadjo's The Shadows of Imana: Travels in the Heart of Rwanda. In spite of evident reference to the role played by religion in traumatic and traumatising encounters, it features simply as a footnote to the ethnic tensions that underpin these encounters. Drawing on the theoretical work of J. Roger Kurtz and other scholars as well as casting a glance at anticolonial and postcolonial Francophone literatures, this paper argues that trauma in modern postcolonial Francophone literature is ubiquitous. It reveals itself in the post-independence contradictions and injustices as depicted by modern francophone authors and thinkers whose subject matter is largely dominated by such motifs as corruption, war, violence, insanity, rape, poverty, disillusionment, which all accommodate a direct challenge to religion. The absence of religiosity in trauma literature suggests a reversal of the socio-historical stereotype that frames Africans as highly religious, and whose opposition to religion is a result of enlightenment through education. <![CDATA[<b>Of dirt, disinfection and purgation: Discursive construction of state violence in selected contemporary Zimbabwean literature</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2018000100004&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This paper examines post-independent Zimbabwean literary narratives which engage with how the ruling ZANU-PF government frames dissenting voices as constituting dirt, filth and undesirability. Making use of Achille Mbembe's postulations on the "vulgarity of power" and Kenneth W. Harrow's readings of the politics of dirt, the central thesis of this paper is that the troping of dirt and state sponsored violence are closely related to the themes of memory and belonging. Literary works by writers such as Chistopher Mlalazi, NoViolet Bulawayo and John Eppel become self-effacing speech acts that are involved in reimagining and revisioning our understanding of power dynamics and how this affects human and social experiences. <![CDATA[<b>The writing of Arthur Fula: Modernity, language, place and religion</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2018000100005&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Arthur Fula's debut novel Jôhannie giet die beeld (lit: Johannesburg moulds the graven image) was well received in the beginning of 1954 but has in recent years been largely forgotten. The novel was promoted as the first "by a Bantu in Afrikaans", a designation that differentiated him, a third language speaker, from the typical Afrikaans writer who was ordinarily a white, first language speaker. The novel registers, in the tradition of the 'Jim-comes-to Jo'burg' novels, the migration of black characters to the urban areas with the persistent struggle between indigenous traditions and the presence of an unknown, even threatening Western modernity. In his second novel Met erbarming, O Here (With Compassion, Oh Lord, 1 957) Fula made peace with the permanency of urban black Africans and their aspirations. This essay introduces the emergence of the autodidact Fula's authorship amidst a period of profound change and adaptation in South Africa during the 1950s, tracing his personal history, the circumstances of his writing and choice of language, and the reception of his debut novel. <![CDATA[<b>Narrating the past: Reflections on recent Black Afrikaans writing</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2018000100006&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es A return to the past has been a dominant feature of recent Afrikaans writing. This is evident in the many novels re-visiting the Anglo-Boer War or recounting incidents from the apartheid past. The approaches include the debunking of myths and a nostalgic longing for the good old days. Whether this is true of the small body of Black Afrikaans writing, given its ambivalent relationship to the canon, needs to be investigated. A number of texts that was published recently either had a clear autobiographical background or emanated from the desire and imperative "to tell our own stories from our communities". A feature of the texts is also the way it engages with the past and makes use of diverse narrative strategies to recount circumstances and experiences and portray an image of how characters lived through the historical events during the apartheid years. The paper draws on David Scott's distinction between romance and tragedy as two distinct narrative forms in which the past can be represented and narrated. Scott's typology is applied to a critically reading of selected texts by inter alia Fatima Osman, Simon Bruinders, Ronelda Kamfer and Valda Jansen. In the case of the texts by the firstmentioned authors the narrative is about survival, determination and the triumph of the human spirit in the face of a dehumanising system like apartheid. In the latter texts one finds elements of dystopia and disillusionment with the past as an ydill. It also gives an unsentimental view of the state of mind and events playing out in communities in the present. The texts furthermore grapples with textual strategies to represent history and the inability at times to comprehend the past. <![CDATA[<b>Crossing the Atlantic or dying? Critical reflection on the concept of exchange</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2018000100007&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This paper investigates the validity of the concept of "cultural exchange" through a few African novels, comparing different perspectives of journeys. While some African writers attempt to depict their most immediate environment, making themselves appear as "nationalist" as possible, one can notice however that more and more other African writers choose to encapsulate their literary universe in changing geographic settings: their writing depicts the mobility of characters aiming at reaching new frontiers. These new spaces, always to be discovered, provide African writers with a platform to depict subjectivities that cognitively enrich themselves on contact with newer and different world visions. However, the crossing into the other world (on the other bank of the river) seems not always to offer a space for mutual cultural exchange; it might be fatal and lead to identity "assassination", "a journey of death". <![CDATA[<b>Indigeneity in modernity: The cases of Kgebetli Moele and Niq Mhlongo</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2018000100008&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The study of South African English literature written by black people in the post-apartheid period has focused, among others, on the so-called Hillbrow novels of Phaswane Mpe and Niq Mhlongo, and narratives such as Kgebetli Moele's Book of the Dead (2009) set in Pretoria. A number of studies show how the fiction of these writers handles black concerns that some critics believe to have replaced a thematic preoccupation with apartheid, as soon as political freedom was attained in 1 994. However, adequate analyses are yet to be made of works produced by some of these black writers in their more rounded scrutiny of the first decade of democracy, apart from what one may describe as an indigenous/traditional weaning from preoccupation with the theme of apartheid. This study intends to fill this gap, as well as examine how such a richer social commentary is refracted in its imaginative critique of South African democratic life beyond its first decade of existence. I consider Mhlongo's novels Dog Eat Dog (2004) and After Tears (2007) together with Moele's narratives reflecting on the same epoch Room 207 (2006) and The Book of the Dead. For the portrayal of black lives after democracy, I unpack the discursive content of Mhlongo's narratives Affluenza (2016) and Way Back Home (2013), as well as Moele's Untitled (2013) respectively. I probe new ways in which these post-apartheid writers critique the new living conditions of blacks in their novelistic discourses. I argue that their evolving approaches interrogate literary imaginaries, presumed modernities and visions on socio-political freedom of a post-apartheid South Africa, in ways deserving critical attention. I demonstrate how Moele and Mhlongo in their novels progressively assert a self-determining indigeneity in a post-apartheid modernity unfolding in the context of some pertinent discursive views around ideas such as colour-blindness and transnationalism. I show how the discourses of the authors' novels enable a comparison of both their individual handling of the concepts of persisting institutional racism and the hegemonic silencing of white privilege; and distinguishable ways in which each of the two authors grapples with such issues in their fiction depicting black conditions in the first decade of South African democratic rule, differently from the way they do with portrayals of the socio-economic challenges faced by black people beyond the first ten years of South African democracy. <![CDATA[<b>Images of woman and her search for happiness in Cynthia Jele's <i>Happiness is a four-letter word</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2018000100009&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Over the years, African 'feminist' scholars have expressed reservations about embracing feminism as an analytical framework for theorizing issues that affect African women. This is particularly because in many African societies, feminism has been perceived as a negative influence that seeks to tear the cultural fabric and value systems of African communities. Some scholars such as Clenora Hudson-Weems, Chikenje Ogunyemi, Tiamoyo Karenga and Chimbuko Tembo contend that feminism as developed by Western scholars is incapable of addressing context-specific concerns of African women. As a result, they developed womanism as an alternative framework for analysing the realities of women in African cultures. Womanism is premised on the view that African women need an Afrocentric theory that can adequately deal with their specific struggles. Drawing from ideas that have been developed by womanist scholars, this article critically interrogates the portrayal of women in Cynthia Jele's Happiness is a four-letter word (2010), with particular focus on the choices that they make in love relationships, marriage and motherhood. My argument is that Jele's text affirms the womanist view that African women exist within a specific cultural context that shapes their needs, aspirations and choices in a different way. <![CDATA[<b>Representation of racial and sexual 'others' in Afrikaans popular romantic fiction by Sophia Kapp</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2018000100010&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article provides a feminist critique of representation, analysing the way sexual and racial others are represented in the work of the Afrikaans popular romantic fiction writer Sophia Kapp. Comparing her first three novels to the latest one, the article points to a development in her writing and tracks the changes it has undergone over the course of the almost ten years of Kapp's writing career. Starting off with exclusively white and heterosexual characters in her first novels, her latest novel includes a number of black and homosexual secondary characters. However, while these characters appear to be equal to the white hero and heroine, an analysis of their representation shows that they are rendered in such a way that they support the white heterosexual marriage as the unquestionable standard, and it becomes clear that the inclusion of sexual and racial others appears for the most part to be in the function of "surrogate and enabler" for the white heterosexual marriage ideal. <![CDATA[<b>Contemporary Zimbabwean popular music in the context of adversities</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2018000100011&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Contemporary Zimbabwean popular and urban genres of music namely, urban grooves and its variant Zimdancehall emerged and continue to exist at a time when the country is grappling with socio-economic and political adversities. The music has become part and parcel of crucial artistic forms and artistic dissent. Ordinary Zimbabweans bear the brunt of the economic hardship, and some musicians play a significant role in detailing their experiences, survival strategies as well as influencing their patterns of entertainment and daily cultural practices. This article which is informed by popular culture theorists such as Karin Barber and John Fiske focuses on Winky D's album Gafa Life Kickstape (2015). His songs "Disappear", "Copyrights" and "Survivor" are examined with reference to their creative potential and their referencing of the survival strategies of ordinary Zimbabweans. In addition, the paper explores his music as a source of power in fostering a response that resonates with urban youth cultural activism. It is found that Winky D's music seeks to empower the Zimbabweans to make "all the crosses to disappear," to transcend their adversities and take control of their destinies in a country where the ruling elite are failing to improve the nation's socio-economic conditions. <![CDATA[<b>Sol T. Plaatje's paremiological quest: A common humanity in cultural diversity</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2018000100012&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Having written and compiled, from memory, over 700 Setswana proverbs when he was resident in London during the second decade of 1900, Sol T. Plaatje exhibited unusual ethnographic knowledge and remarkable, creative translation skills in diaspora-like circumstances. While most literary researchers attest to those achievements, few have been the theories to account sufficiently for Plaatje's multilingual proverb renditions. The view propounded here is that Plaatje's paremiological enterprise was probably never only an exercise of his polyglot abilities. Rather his quest apparently was to assert the similarities and convergences between African and European people's cultural histories. Deep pride in his Setswana identity seems to have propelled a need to highlight the ethnographic bonds Northern and Southern nations share. For Plaatje, seeing overlaps and equivalences in the proverbs of European and the Batswana peoples, firstly validates orality as the bedrock of modern literary expression. Secondly, the relationship of the two appears to recapitulate the communicative connections of people, across time and space. Lastly, the point is made that Plaatje's search for unity in linguistic and cultural diversity, as exhibited in the Diane tsa Setswana collection (1916) and A Sechuana Reader stories (1 924), provides instructive lessons which present-day South Africa would ill afford to ignore considering the social cohesion challenges the nation faces. <![CDATA[<b>R. E. van der Ross (1921-2017)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2018000100013&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Having written and compiled, from memory, over 700 Setswana proverbs when he was resident in London during the second decade of 1900, Sol T. Plaatje exhibited unusual ethnographic knowledge and remarkable, creative translation skills in diaspora-like circumstances. While most literary researchers attest to those achievements, few have been the theories to account sufficiently for Plaatje's multilingual proverb renditions. The view propounded here is that Plaatje's paremiological enterprise was probably never only an exercise of his polyglot abilities. Rather his quest apparently was to assert the similarities and convergences between African and European people's cultural histories. Deep pride in his Setswana identity seems to have propelled a need to highlight the ethnographic bonds Northern and Southern nations share. For Plaatje, seeing overlaps and equivalences in the proverbs of European and the Batswana peoples, firstly validates orality as the bedrock of modern literary expression. Secondly, the relationship of the two appears to recapitulate the communicative connections of people, across time and space. Lastly, the point is made that Plaatje's search for unity in linguistic and cultural diversity, as exhibited in the Diane tsa Setswana collection (1916) and A Sechuana Reader stories (1 924), provides instructive lessons which present-day South Africa would ill afford to ignore considering the social cohesion challenges the nation faces. <![CDATA[<b>Keorapetse Kgotsitsile (1938-2018)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2018000100014&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Having written and compiled, from memory, over 700 Setswana proverbs when he was resident in London during the second decade of 1900, Sol T. Plaatje exhibited unusual ethnographic knowledge and remarkable, creative translation skills in diaspora-like circumstances. While most literary researchers attest to those achievements, few have been the theories to account sufficiently for Plaatje's multilingual proverb renditions. The view propounded here is that Plaatje's paremiological enterprise was probably never only an exercise of his polyglot abilities. Rather his quest apparently was to assert the similarities and convergences between African and European people's cultural histories. Deep pride in his Setswana identity seems to have propelled a need to highlight the ethnographic bonds Northern and Southern nations share. For Plaatje, seeing overlaps and equivalences in the proverbs of European and the Batswana peoples, firstly validates orality as the bedrock of modern literary expression. Secondly, the relationship of the two appears to recapitulate the communicative connections of people, across time and space. Lastly, the point is made that Plaatje's search for unity in linguistic and cultural diversity, as exhibited in the Diane tsa Setswana collection (1916) and A Sechuana Reader stories (1 924), provides instructive lessons which present-day South Africa would ill afford to ignore considering the social cohesion challenges the nation faces. <![CDATA[<b>'n ope brief aan Dorian Gray en 'n peiling van die Afrikaanse resensiebedryf</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2018000100015&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The young Afrikaans poet, Ruan Fourie, published his debut volume of poetry, 'n ope brief aan Dorian Gray, (An open letter to Dorian Gray) in 2017. Fourie's debut received predominantly negative reviews from Afrikaans critics. A review by Afrikaans critic, Tom Gouws, was particularly destructive and transgressed acceptable professional standards. This example of destructive criticism is scrutinized in relation to similar transgressions in Afrikaans book reviews. In addition, a comparable Irish case study and theoretical viewpoints by C. J. van Rees and Susanne Janssen are considered to provide a nuanced perspective on current practices in Afrikaans literary criticism. The article also focuses on the responses of Bernard Odendaal and Lina Spies to Fourie's poetry to provide a critical and independent opinion on aspects such as publishing decisions, mentorship, manuscript development and editorial mentorship. The last part of the article consists of a substantiated evaluation of 'n ope brief aan Dorian Gray. It is concluded that despite evidence of creative talent, there are too many shortcomings due to questionable editorial mentorship and impetuous publishing decisions. <link>http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2018000100016&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es</link> <description/> </item> </channel> </rss> <!--transformed by PHP 06:06:23 20-06-2018-->