Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Tydskrif vir Letterkunde]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=0041-476X20170001&lang=es vol. 54 num. 1 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Going on safari: the tales of two Koos Prinsloos</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2017000100001&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In Kiswahili, the word safari simply means going on a journey. This article is about journeys begun, aborted and ended by two people with the matching names of Koos Prinsloo. Koos Prinsloo Senior used his handwritten memoir about his journeys and hunting adventures as a symbolic reference to his masculinity and frontiersman status in Kenya at the height of British colonialism. Koos Prinsloo Junior, his Kenyan-born grandson, who left Kenya as a youngster and lived in South Africa, embarks on journeys where his short stories explore, amongst other issues, matters of homosexuality and notions of the father, power and colonial nostalgia. Koos Prinsloo Junior uses excerpts from his grandfather's memoir, descriptive references to his parents' past and present homes, mementos and trophies from the erstwhile British colony to provide a critique on bravado and male inadequacy. Using Veracini's outline of circular and linear colonial narratives a contextual and historical background on Koos Prinsloo's grandfather's memoir and his hunting tales is provided by briefly examining settler life-writing from Kenya, the hunting safari and ideas of homecoming. Before turning to Prinsloo Junior's relevant short stories and examining his attempts to debunk ideas of colonial masculinity, patriarchy, nostalgia, and loss, the notion of going home, not feeling quite at home and homesickness are explored. <![CDATA[<b>Symbolic self-translation in Bloke Modisane's Blame Me on History</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2017000100002&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The article examines Modisane's self-portrayal in his autobiography, Blame Me on History (1963). The author argues that for Modisane autobiographical self-representation takes the form of a complex and multi-layered process of symbolic and metaphorical translation of (self) identity. Symbolic self-translation in Modisane's autobiography involves attempts by the narrator-protagonist to untangle the conundrum resulting from what is presented as an unbridgeable chasm between the kind of person he could have been in a country devoid of racial oppression and what he was forced to become in the racially segregated South Africa of the twentieth century. Central to the analysis of Modisane's chosen mode of self-portraiture is James Olney's notion of "metaphors of self" in terms of which the autobiographical self seeks to articulate its elusive ontological status through metaphors and symbols. The article also provides a critique of contradictions inherent in the ideology of liberal humanism which is presented as universally desirable in Modisane's autobiography. <![CDATA[<b>Hybrid self–(re)presentation in the diaries of Hennie Aucamp</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2017000100003&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article on Hennie Aucamp approaches his journals as ego-documents. The positional dilemma and identity crisis of Afrikaners in the new South Africa are portrayed in the triptych: Gekaapte tyd (Captured time, 1996), Allersiele (All Souls, 1 997) and Skuinslig (Light at Dusk, 2003). Aucamp's journals constitute a hybrid composite that bridges the space between a personal reflection on daily life and that of a historical, social and cultural document. Through the complex process of disguise and revelation of the "I", Aucamp's diaries create a space that allows free contemplation and reflection both on the socio-cultural developments in the new South Africa and on the fate of Afrikaners and Afrikaans itself. It is from his feeling of displacement and expatriation as a white Afrikaner under the new system and his fear of the disappearance of Afrikaners and Afrikaans that Aucamp positions himself as a defender of Afrikaner culture. Moreover, Aucamp claims that this cultural legacy could be used as future-oriented survival strategy: the preservation of culture being simultaneously self-preservation. It is within this framework that he makes a subtle comparison between Afrikaans and Afrikaner culture and the culture of the San; his affinity for the lost culture of the San runs parallel with his defence of the world of Afrikaners. This has resulted in the writer's socio-cultural criticisms and commentaries in a certain sense becoming a personal performance in favour of the recreation of a lost Afrikaner language and culture. At the same time, they illustrate the writer's attempt to position himself strategically with regard to the future-oriented formation of identity-not only of himself, but also of the reader. It is within this context that the increase in ego-documents written in modern-day South African and Afrikaner literature can also be seen as a struggle against loss and forgetting. <![CDATA[<b>Lessons in writing the biography of the crossover poet, Olga Kirsch</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2017000100004&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Olga Kirsch was an English-speaking Jewess who wrote and published poetry in Afrikaans. As such she exemplifies a crossover poet who introduces the voice of the other into a national canon-in her case, the only Jewish voice in Afrikaans poetry. Three questions were raised in the research and writing of her biography. The first concerns the extent to which she, as a Jew, was influenced by the dominant culture in which she grew up. The second seems more complex: What influence has Olga Kirsch had on the dominant culture-was she able to influence the South African Afrikaans culture and literature in any way? Third, to what extent does the multi-culturalism of Kirsch affect the process of research and writing her biography; are there problems specific to writing the biography of a cross-cultural writer? <![CDATA[<b>Poetic devices as part of the trauma narrative in Country of My Skull </b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2017000100005&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article investigates the role of poetic devices in a trauma narrative like Country of My Skull. The nature and characteristics of a trauma narrative are described with reference to Country of My Skull and Antjie Krog's style as poet and journalist. The theory and role of figurative language in trauma narratives suggest an attempt to describe that which is indescribable and unrepresentable about traumatic events and experiences like Krog attempts to do in Country of My Skull. Different tropes like skull, language, body, sounds and landscape or country are identified and followed through the text as part of the working through of a traumatic experience. Krog is the narrator in this "highly personal account", describing the traumatic testimonies of witnesses during the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission. She is confronted with her own traumatic experience as secondary witness to these events as a reporter, journalist, and translator-interpreter of stories of unspeakable horror. The broadening of perspective in the different tropes shows signs of the working through of this trauma and the process of healing to the reintegration of a divided, fragmented identity and agency. <![CDATA[<b>Paris as 'unreal city': Modern-ist conceptions in Michiel Heyns's Invisible Furies</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2017000100006&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Michiel Heyns's sixth novel, Invisible Furies (2012) is deeply inscribed in the author's profound engagement in and knowledge of the grand modernist tradition. The article aims to illuminate and discuss this underrated novel in terms of some of its modernist attributes by relating the work conceptually to the works of great modernist writers, particularly T. S. Eliot and E. M. Forster, in order to demonstrate its impressive literary scope and density of meaning. While there are direct allusions to Eliot's poetry in the text, it is a certain sensibility and perspective that reminds the reader forcibly of Eliot's vision, particularly in The Waste Land(1922) and The Hollow Men (1925). Eliot's image of the "Unreal city", derived from Baudelaire's Les sept veillards, is particularly pertinent. A number of modernist concerns or themes are addressed in this context, in particular the ambiguous merits and value of the aesthetic, social alienation, the city and the concept of Forster's "eternal moment" (his equivalent to Joyce's "epiphany", Virginia Woolf's "moment of being" and Eliot's "moment in and out of time") as a possible means of salvation in the face of the meaninglessness of a spiritually and emotionally arid, modern existence. <![CDATA[<b>Apartheid's Immorality Act and the fiction of heteronormative whiteness</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2017000100007&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article traces both the centrality and fragility of the figure of the heterosexual white male to the moral and ideological core of the apartheid regime. Through a comparative reading of Zakes Mda's The Madonna of Excelsior (2002) and Gerald Kraak's Ice in the Lungs (2006), the article examines how apartheid's Immorality Act functioned as the legislative mechanism to produce and police heteronormative whiteness. The randomness and unpredictability of sexual desire in both historical novels expose the tenuousness of this idealised heteronormative whiteness that lay at the centre of the apartheid project. Situated within the moral panic and political turmoil of the 1970s, the novels identify sex as a powerful lens through which to read the history of apartheid. While Mda's satirical novel focuses on transgressive interracial sexual desire, Kraak's realist text explores same-sex desire and intimacy. My reading of the two novels engages with the political history of apartheid's sexual policing and insists on the inextricable entanglement of its heteronormative and racial supremacist provisions. The traditional ideological centrality of the vulnerable white woman is displaced in the novels by white men whose transgressive sexual desires for black women (in Mda's novel) and other white men (in Kraak's) refuse the certainty and naturalness of heteronormative whiteness. <![CDATA[<b>Céline au Congo</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2017000100008&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es If Louis-Ferdinand Celine's influence on 20th century French literature is widely acknowledged, one is less aware of the influence left by his Journey to the end of the night on contemporary postcolonial Francophone Literature. In spite of the racist nature of his ideology, Celine's profoundly "oralized" body of works showed the way to later generations on how to combine the written and the spoken word-a question which is at the core of contemporary francophone literature, as produced in Africa and in the Caribbean Islands. This is why writers such as Patrick Chamoiseau and Alain Mabanckou secretly refer to Céline; but in the case of Mabanckou we would argue that his interest for Céline has been sparked by readings of his compatriot and fellow writer, Daniel Biyaoula who blatantly made use of Journey to the end of the night to structure his novels. <![CDATA[<b>Melancholia and the search for the lost object in Farah's Maps</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2017000100009&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Maps, given its intriguing narrative thrusts and multi-axial thematic concerns, is arguably the most studied or analysed of Nur-rudin Farah's nine prose fictions. The novel's title as well as its synopsis has naturally dictated the focus of critics on the Western Somalia Liberation Front's war efforts geared towards liberating the Ogaden from Ethiopian suzerainty and restoring it to Somalia. The nationalist fervour, the war it precipitates and its fallouts of a strife-ridden milieu have such a pervading presence in the novel that the personal experiences of the novel's two major characters, Askar and Misra, are quite often discussed as basic allegories of ethnic and nationalistic rivalries. This paper focuses on the personal experiences of Farah's two major characters. It contends that the private story of Askar and Misra is so compelling and central to the many issues broached in the novel that it deserves significant critical attention. Drawing upon Sigmund Freud's and Melanie Klein's concepts of melancholia, the paper explores how central the characters' haunting sense of melancholia is to the happenings in Farah's Maps. <![CDATA[<b>Wole Soyinka's A Play of Giants and King Baabu: The crises between ideology and (social) vision</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2017000100010&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Any valid inquiry into the meaning of any imaginative writing will lend itself to the salutary credentials of its content and form. This recourse has always created a divide that seeks on the one hand the aesthetic value of the art and on the other its functional or social values. The social themes discernible in the works of many African writers have provided the impetus for an assessment that digs up the social relevance and the ideological slants of such works. For Wole Soyinka, many critics, building on the ideas of Chinweizu, Madubuike and Jemie, have identified a gap between social responsiveness and ideology in his works. This paper, using Soyinka's A Play of Giants and King Baabu, re-examines the centrality of ideology to texts of social engagement in the postcolonial space. Within the context of the humanistic values that the playwright esteems, this essay scrutinizes the social conditions in the plays and the dramatist's "vision." The conclusion asserts the social relevance of the texts but queries the lack of absolute prescription in Soyinka's work under scrutiny. <![CDATA[<b>Factional realities in Remi Raji's Gather My Blood Rivers of Song</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2017000100011&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This paper explores the transformative vision of the Nigerian poet, Remi Raji from imaginative mooring in his earlier works to factional realities in Gather My Blood Rivers of Song published in 2009. In some poems in this collection, Raji embraces factional realities as he grapples with the narration of actual existence in Nigeria. This signifies a movement away from the speculative construct of the imagination as he presents the tangible properties of events, not as history, but the facts in reality. This differentiates him from other writers who merely re-echo or document events. Based on the materialist frame of reference presented in some of the poems in this collection, Raji is able to enact plausible narrations that have identifiable referentiality through which he guides his poetic presentation of actual human existence. <![CDATA[<b>Ritual form and mythologization of death in Wole Soyinka's 'Procession'</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2017000100012&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Critics make a large claim that Wole Soyinka mythologizes death and deploys ritual form in his dramatic works but hardly account for the same in this light regarding his poetry, especially "Procession", a sequence which bears so many marks of this style. Critics of "Procession" discount a lot from its richness in mythological and ritual forms but focus more on its topical, social and political nature. The trend in the criticism of the sequence is obviously informed by the historical and political context of the sequence and its inclusion in A Shuttle in the Crypt (1972), a collection on Soyinka's prison experience. This approach to "Procession" detracts from the art in the sequence, fails to appreciate fully the poetry's formal properties and so the poetry requires a close reading. Formalism is applied to study the poem and the study stresses the analysis of the work as a self-sufficient verbal entity, constituted by internal relations and independent of reference either to the state of mind of Soyinka or the actualities of the 'external' world. The approach highlights in a fresh manner the elements which the earlier criticism the poetry stresses to reveal Soyinka's mythologization of death and preoccupation with ritual forms in "Procession". The study reveals that Soyinka is not just preoccupied with political imprisonment and judicial death but mythologizes the experience and treats rites de passage. It shows further the breadth with which the poet accentuates the esoteric theme through his by deployment of devices such as symbols, the motifs of passage, biblical allusion, pathetic fallacy, pun, incantatory rhythm, paradox, irony and humour. <![CDATA[<b>Deep digital poetry: Interrogating Tiv oral poetry within postmodernity</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2017000100013&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Poetry is one of the most vibrant artistic forms for socio-economic and political reconstruction of society among the Tiv of North Central Nigeria. The poets fix themselves in the forefront of arousing and propagating cultural consciousness, exposing vices, extolling virtues and personalities with such attributes, mobilizing people for unity and development, ensuring progressive change, maintaining social order and cohesion, unmasking socio-economic contradictions of class and polity, expressing the unheard voices of the voiceless in society and charting out a direction for the future of society. By reflecting the jeers, fears, aspirations, visions and general character of the society, they occupy a popular place and position in the social structure of Tiv society and their poetry is reinvigorated, in the usual popular way, in the new sensibilities of the digital technology being they dynamic in thematic exploration, traditional or modern. This article presents an exploratory overview of Tiv poetry in its changing digital forms of "secondary orality" which not only preserve the material but transform its productive, aesthetic and performance bounds to unending digital spaces creating in the wake a new character, a special effect, a new transmitting and storage pattern and the commodification of an individual's creations. The paper finally locates digi-orature, this new way of interrogating oral poets and their creations, within the ambience of postmodernity capable of attracting audiences outside the Tiv linguistic and geographical space. <![CDATA[<b>'The Maggot Within': The state security apparatus in Ngũgĩ' s Wizard of the Crow</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2017000100014&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In contemporary African nations, the functions performed by the state security apparatus have continued to cause trouble and divisions in the society. The state security apparatus , which is obliged to be non-partisan while carrying out assignments, has been manipulated by those in authority for their own profit. This anomalous attitude of the state security apparatus has been highlighted in fictional works of most African writers, as exemplified by NgũgΓ wa Thiong'o. This paper therefore investigates the portrayal of the state security apparatus in Ngug Γ s Wizard of the Crow. The focus is how the agents of s tate security strive to uphold state power and, in doing so, deviate from their other constitutional role of protecting life and property. The paper further explores how the characters representing the state security apparatus in Wizard of the Crow promote shady business deals and as well systematize corruption. The overarching argument in this paper is that state security agents serve as instruments of misrule, oppression, deprivation and class control. <![CDATA[<b>Arthur Fula</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2017000100015&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This is a translation of a chapter entitled "Arthur Fula" from Peter Sulzer's unpublished manuscript Südafrika im Spiegel der Afrikaans Literatur (1965), pages 381-91. This Swiss librarian and Africanist corresponded for at least eight years with Fula and met him in the early 1960s at his place of work, the Johannesburg Magistrate's courts. Fula, a native Xhosa speaker, worked as an interpreter where he also interpreted from Zulu and Sesotho. He published the novels Jôhannie giet die beeld (1954, Johannesburg casts the graven image; The Golden Magnet, 1984) and Met erbarming, O Here (1 957, With Compassion, Oh Lord). In this chapter Sulzer provides valuable information on several of Fula's unpublished works of which none has survived. This includes the unpublished novel 'n Zoeloe-dogter (A Zulu Daughter), two novellas "Vader Kalashe" (Pastor Kalashe) and "Matsiliso van Phomolong" (Matsiliso of Phomolong), and several poems. Fula's prose writing often explored the tensions between tradition and modernity. Sulzer's view argued in this chapter is that the author's poetry is "of greater literary value than the novellas". Sulzer's unpublished chapter provides valuable background and literary commentary on a writer who has largely been forgotten. <![CDATA[<b>Buchi Emecheta (1944-2017): Beyond the dingy ditch</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2017000100016&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This is a translation of a chapter entitled "Arthur Fula" from Peter Sulzer's unpublished manuscript Südafrika im Spiegel der Afrikaans Literatur (1965), pages 381-91. This Swiss librarian and Africanist corresponded for at least eight years with Fula and met him in the early 1960s at his place of work, the Johannesburg Magistrate's courts. Fula, a native Xhosa speaker, worked as an interpreter where he also interpreted from Zulu and Sesotho. He published the novels Jôhannie giet die beeld (1954, Johannesburg casts the graven image; The Golden Magnet, 1984) and Met erbarming, O Here (1 957, With Compassion, Oh Lord). In this chapter Sulzer provides valuable information on several of Fula's unpublished works of which none has survived. This includes the unpublished novel 'n Zoeloe-dogter (A Zulu Daughter), two novellas "Vader Kalashe" (Pastor Kalashe) and "Matsiliso van Phomolong" (Matsiliso of Phomolong), and several poems. Fula's prose writing often explored the tensions between tradition and modernity. Sulzer's view argued in this chapter is that the author's poetry is "of greater literary value than the novellas". Sulzer's unpublished chapter provides valuable background and literary commentary on a writer who has largely been forgotten. <![CDATA[<b>Peter Abrahams (1919-2017)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2017000100017&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This is a translation of a chapter entitled "Arthur Fula" from Peter Sulzer's unpublished manuscript Südafrika im Spiegel der Afrikaans Literatur (1965), pages 381-91. This Swiss librarian and Africanist corresponded for at least eight years with Fula and met him in the early 1960s at his place of work, the Johannesburg Magistrate's courts. Fula, a native Xhosa speaker, worked as an interpreter where he also interpreted from Zulu and Sesotho. He published the novels Jôhannie giet die beeld (1954, Johannesburg casts the graven image; The Golden Magnet, 1984) and Met erbarming, O Here (1 957, With Compassion, Oh Lord). In this chapter Sulzer provides valuable information on several of Fula's unpublished works of which none has survived. This includes the unpublished novel 'n Zoeloe-dogter (A Zulu Daughter), two novellas "Vader Kalashe" (Pastor Kalashe) and "Matsiliso van Phomolong" (Matsiliso of Phomolong), and several poems. Fula's prose writing often explored the tensions between tradition and modernity. Sulzer's view argued in this chapter is that the author's poetry is "of greater literary value than the novellas". Sulzer's unpublished chapter provides valuable background and literary commentary on a writer who has largely been forgotten. http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2017000100018&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es