Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Tydskrif vir Letterkunde]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=0041-476X20150001&lang=es vol. 52 num. 1 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Mqhayi's chapter and verse: <i>Kees van die Kalahari </i>becoming <i>u-Adonisi wasentlango</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2015000100001&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Xhosa's best and most well-known imbongi and poet, S. E. K. Mqhayi, once translated an Afrikaans book Kees van die Kalahari into Xhosa-a story about the trials and tribulations of a leader baboon and his tribe. The Xhosa translation had been prescribed for generations of pupils and became one of the language's most well-known texts. As part of a larger project which will compare the two texts in their totality, this essay is a preliminary exercise to determine the history of the translated text and more specifically to explore what Mqhayi's possible translation strategies could have been which rendered the book so 'home-grown'. According to Sindiwe Magona, 'It was prescribed to me in high school and I taught it, but neither I, nor my colleagues, realised that it was a translation. And even now, there is no feeling that behind this text there is another one, it feels so authentic!' There are in fact two other texts: the original English text which spawned the well-known Afrikaans book Kees van die Kalahari, written/translated by the brothers S. B. and G. C. Hobson. The Afrikaans text won the coveted Afrikaans Hertzog Prize for prose and was reprinted 33 times. <![CDATA[<b>Peter Blum and Italy: 'Italy fascinated us'</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2015000100002&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Early readers of the two volumes of verse-Steenbok tot poolsee ("Capricorn to Polar Sea", 1 955) and Enklaves van die lig ("Enclaves of the Light", 1958)-of Peter Blum (1925-90) recognised his original and distinctive grasp of Afrikaans, although he was not a native speaker, and acknowledged that his work brought to the language a strong sense of European culture and history. Within that Europeanness, the Italian dimension of Blum's work is explored here. There are some biographical sources for the sensitivity to and knowledge of Italy revealed in the poetry. This paper explores particularly Blum's "Kaapse sonnette" ("Cape Sonnets"), versions of some of the Sonetti Romaneschi of G. G. Belli (1 791-1863), transposed to Cape Town of the 1950s, and "Die klok in die newel: 'n narrasie in twee episodes" ("The Bell in the Mist: A Narration in Two Episodes"), an autobiographical mini-epic that brings together Blum's adolescence and young manhood in an account of his calling as a poet. Although Blum chose Afrikaans as his poetic medium, and rejected his native German, his embrace of Italy was largely mediated by his reading of Goethe. <![CDATA[<b>Breyten Breytenbach's representation of the prison</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2015000100003&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article examines Breyten Breytenbach's representation of the prison, particularly in his collection of prison poems, Die ongedanste dons ("The undanced dance", 2005). Using Foucault's seminal work on the birth of the prison as a theoretical point of departure, this analysis shows how Breytenbach describes the buildings, life within prison, past-times in prison, as well as indicate to what extent the language and expressions used by the prisoners have influenced his writing. A central aspect of Foucault's writing on the prison is the concept of panopticism and in Breytenbach's poetry there is a definite reference to elements pertaining to this such as constant surveillance and the omnipresence of the wardens. In his poems written in prison there is a definite awareness of the spacing of the body and the exertion of power over the body of the prisoner as other by the wardens, who with their guns and batons are the one wielding the power in prison. <![CDATA[<b>Ambivalence in the relationship between slave and master in <i>Philida </i>by André Brink</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2015000100004&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article appropriates the views of critics in an effort to come closer to an understanding of the sensations, experiences and the general plight of slaves in a (post)-colonial context, in particular the farm Zandvliet, as well as the broader South-African society as represented in Philida. In this regard, for instance, the critical enunciations of Bill Ashcroft concerning place and displacement and the bearing thereof on the lives of the colonised is considered, as well as the views of Homi Bhabha on ambivalence related to colonial discourse. According to Bhabha the "other" is the coloniser's construct and his relationship with the "other" is characterised by ambivalence and inconsistency. The article refers to the intertextual relations of Philida to earlier Brink novels, to the paratextual relations of the cover to the text, and to the text's relations to South African history. <![CDATA[<b>André P. Brink 's position in the Afrikaans literary system of the 1960s</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2015000100005&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article investigates Andre P. Brink's role and position in the Afrikaans literary system of the 1960s. It is found that Brïnk was a very active role player in drama and prose, both as a writer and as a critic, and his activity is compared with every other role player in these subsystems. The paper examines which texts were studied by the largest number of persons in the whole literary system as well as in the subsystems of the drama and prose, and it is indicated that Brink's texts played an important role in this respect by garnering the attention of a large number of critics and literary historians. Finally, Brink's texts are positioned in the entire Afrikaans literary system of the decade, and it is found that his works occupy a central position. <![CDATA[<b>To a dubious critical salvation: Etienne Leroux and the canons of South African English criticism</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2015000100006&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article presents a case study in cross-cultural literary reception following the act of literary translation-in this instance, of author Etienne Leroux-from Afrikaans into English. It describes the literary reception of Leroux in general terms, in Afrikaans and Dutch in the first place and subsequently in English (South Africanist) criticism. Our focus falls on the translation and subsequent reception of Leroux's major novel, Sewe dae by die Silbersteins, first published in Afrikaans in 1962, and crowned with the Hertzog Prize in 1964. The novel's rendering into English by poet Charles Eglington (Seven Days at the Silbersteins) in 1964 provides the centrepoint of our study. We argue that this translation, along with the several forms of what André Lefevere calls "rewriting" (in literary-critical registers) that it engendered, created disjunctive moments of cross-lingual critical reception in which dubious conclusions hardened into routine paraphrase or accepted "wisdom" in English criticism. By "rewriting" in this case, following Lefevere, we mean inter-lingual re-descriptions of literary works within literary-critical histories or reviews that are often based on translations, and on readings of them in relative isolation from their fuller context in the original language (here, Afrikaans). <![CDATA[<b>Writing after Auschwitz, after apartheid, after the <i>digital turn</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2015000100007&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In this paper I discuss the concept of "engaged poetry" and the position of poetry with a so-called ethic dimension in the digital era. Taking the famous aphorism by Theodor W. Adorno as a starting point-"Nach Auschwitz ein Gedicht zu schreiben, ist barbarisch" ("After Auschwitz writing poetry is barbaric")-and the two different interpretations of that statement formulated by the philosopher himself, I consider the relevance of the term "engaged literature". I am aware that this article not only summarizes Adorno's points of view, but I also present my own personal poetics as an academic and as a reader of modern poetry. I refer to contemporary poetry of Afrikaans in South Africa and Dutch, more particularly literature in the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, to illustrate my point. <![CDATA[<b>Shadows of life, death and survival in the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2015000100008&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Various writers and survivors have offered literary responses to the genocide of the Tutsi in Rwanda. In 1998, a group of African intellectuals, mostly non-Rwandans, of whom two were female authors, participated in a collective writing project, Rwanda: écrire par devoir de mémoire, tasked to tell the story of the genocide. Genocide survivor, sociologist and psychotherapist, Esther Mujawayo, has since narrated her own story. Although critics have explored the portrayal of trauma in literature in other texts and contexts, a comparative study between these three texts of female authors; one survivor and two intellectuals, focusing on the experience of female survivors and in particular that of being raped has not yet been conducted. This article examines how trauma is made visible to the reader by exploring the characteristics of the 'death experience' and their mediated form, as offered by the three authors. This comparative study furthermore highlights the elements in the lives of survivors which influence their ability to move from a position of mere survival to that of embracing life after the genocide. <![CDATA[<b>Karen Blixen in the African book and literary tourism market</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2015000100009&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In 1937, the Danish-born writer Karen Blixen published Out of Africa, an autobiographical account, in English, of the seventeen years she spent in Africa (from 1914 until 1931). During those years, she forged a permanent bond with Kenya, where she managed a coffee plantation. This bond was immortalised in the book, leading to cult status for both the publication and its author. Out of Africa contains a blend of the essay, the sketch and the historical document. A contemporary reading of the book also reveals some offensive and racist passages; footprints, as it were, of the settler society of its day. However, the lyrical, introspective quality of this book has resulted in its becoming one of the great publishing phenomena of the twentieth century, reaching many readers through various reprints, translations and a film version. This article presents the publishing history of Out of Africa and gives an overview of its many translations across the globe. It also indicates the extent to which, and the reasons why, the book did (or did not) achieve success in Africa. A comparison is also made between Out of Africa and a number of texts by other female writers who wrote about their experiences particularly in African landscapes and/or places. <![CDATA[<b>'A proper woman, in the African tradition': The construction of gender and nationalism in Wangari Maathai's autobiography <i>Unbowed</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2015000100010&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article discusses how Wangari Maathai's life experiences narrated in her autobiography Unbowed offers an opportunity for discussing the contradictions surrounding the perception, place and identity of women in African politics. Against the backdrop of gendered nationalism which glorifies the role and place of women in the construction of nations, the article presents a different reality of how some male leaders of postcolonial nation states like the Kenyan example, silences the voices of women politicians by urging them to behave like 'proper women'. Maathai's autobiography demonstrates that the social construction of womanhood in African politics is influenced by socio-cultural and patriarchal ideologies that construct the ideal African woman as the docile one, the one who does not question male authority. Maathai's autobiography becomes a lens that can be used to view and question the social construction of womanhood versus manhood and the influence on gender power relations on women's participation in the politics of the postcolonial nation states in Africa. <![CDATA[<b>The development of exilic poetry in Anglophone West Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2015000100011&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The nineteenth century was a period of migration that was perpetuated by the socio-political and economic instability in the continent; this caused the decline in the quality of life which had forced many people to go on exile. This study provides insights into the development of exilic poetry in Anglophone West Africa to show that exilic literature is not an accidental product; it grows out of the sordid social, political and economic realities in the sub-region. The contemporary development in exilic literary discourse in Anglophone West Africa indicates a radical shift in vision which is informed by the need to use this literature as a writing-back strategy. We have also discovered in this study that exilic literature in Anglophone West Africa has grown from the simple narration of personal feelings to become a radical ideology for re-ordering of human relations. Moreover, this study shows that there is a wide range of forms emerging from exilic literary experience in Anglophone West Africa in the explication of personal feelings, nostalgia, alienation, political and socio-cultural disruptions. <![CDATA[<b>Redefining otherness: Writing fictional (auto)biography and centring female subjectivity in Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo's <i>Children of the Eagle</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2015000100012&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This study seeks to examine how the Nigerian female writer Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo redefines otherness in Children of the Eagle by exploring the narrative elements of the sub-genre of fictional autobiography in centring female subjects. By foregrounding one of Regenia Gagnier's descriptions of a subject - one that is "a subject to itself, an 'I', however difficult or even impossible it may be for others to understand this 'I' from its own viewpoint, within its own experience" - this paper argues that female subjectivity is a strategy that locates female characters as subjects, narrators, insiders and participants who share their experiences in the novel. It shows that the centrality of the female narrative voice(s) in determining the course and thematic focus of the novel enables female characters to demonstrate their otherness as a quality and position that makes them resilient, strong, and uncompromising promoters of women's cause against debilitating patriarchal beliefs and systems. Being the speaking subjects also helps them to unpack the underlying trajectories in their development and depiction in the novel. This study concludes that Adimora-Ezeigbo's adoption of this technique in Children of the Eagle strengthens the view that placing women as narrator-subjects enables the redefinition of otherness as a favourable concept capable of showing women as critical members of their societies and also a tool for African women writers' to transform the literary scene. <![CDATA[<b>Concordance des temps: De la scénographie dans <i>Demain j'aurai vingt ans </i>d'Alain Mabanckou</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2015000100013&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article demonstrates that in Demain j'aurai vingt ans ("Tomorrow I will be Twenty") Alain Mabanckou, while talking about his childhood in Pointe Noire in Congo, also talks about justifying his adhesion to the littérature-mondemovement. In the main, fictional works of Alain Mabanckou portray his vision of African literature, Verre Cassé being a perfect example of this. While this earlier novel only highlights this vision, Demain j'aurai vingt ans tries to prove that this vision is the only pertinent one. In this regard, Mabanckou attempts to deconstruct the argument that the upholders of littérature-monde, to which he belongs, are westernized and too remote from African realities. The article further examines and analyses the strategies of the author based on the notions of paratopy and scenography as developed by Dominique Maingueneau in Le discours littéraire. Paratopie et scène dénonciation ("Literary Discourse. Paratopy and enunciation scene"). <![CDATA[<b>Posture and writing. The post-Renaudot Mabanckou</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2015000100014&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The notion of literary posture, developed by Jérôme Meizoz, has recently integrated the field of postcolonial studies, thanks in particular to the edited book by Anthony Mangeon, Postures postcoloniales. Domaines africains et antillais (2012). Based on the concepts of Pierre Bourdieu-field, habitusand especially illusio-posture could be defined, in the domain of literary studies, as a way to "acquire" a position in the field, negotiated and renegotiated in a personal way, in order to inhabit a role, or even a status. The notion of posture would thus allow to better taking hold of the way authors present their positions not only in terms of symbolic capital and notoriety, but also in terms of their worldview. Posture has a rhetoric dimension, which is reflected in the textual, and an "actional" dimension, reflected in the contextual. It is in this framework that this article analyzes the most recent literary production (the textual) of the Franco-Congolese writer Alain Mabanckou, at a time this writer had to reinvent himself, following his huge positive critical acclaim. This production is linked to his activities on the margins of literature (the contextual), mainly his presence on social media and his participation to the Etonnants voyageurs literary festival (and in particular the festival organized in Brazzaville in February 2013). This "child of the postcolony" (Abdourahman Waberi), fervent advocate of the littérature-monde movement, displays in his latest work a certain return to the Africa of his childhood. This posture will be analyzed through his latest works, two novels and two essays, published between 2010 and 2013. The article will conclude on the validity of the notion of posture in postcolonial Francophone studies. <![CDATA[<b>Art and healing - ethical imperatives in Julien Kilanga Musinde's <i>Jardin secret</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2015000100015&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article sets out to analyse a trend in literary (re)positioning in the context of socio-political confrontation. In keeping with the literary approach adopted by Julien Kilanga Musinde in the novel Jardin secret (2010), the article will focus on defining the ultimate objective (s) of literary writing in a context where the novel genre is perceived as a depiction of the author's worldview. Given the socio-political contradictions and widespread dehumanisation that characterise present-day Africa, it is important to note that Musinde's novel is one of the answers to the political contradictions that impel postcolonial Africa into a situation of endless crisis. In this philosophical novel, the author endeavours to address the misuse of political power. He is equally at pains to decry the unethical use of scientific knowledge. Much as politics is at the core of the narrative, it is important to note that the political vein is nothing more than a pretext used by the author to broach deeper philosophical issues, which are expressed through ethical imperatives. <![CDATA[<b>Art and healing: Ethical imperatives in Julien Kilanga Musinde's <i>Jardin secret</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2015000100016&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article sets out to analyse a trend in literary (re)positioning in the context of socio-political confrontation. In keeping with the literary approach adopted by Julien Kilanga Musinde in the novel Jardin secret, which was published in 2010, the article will focus on defining the ultimate objective(s) of literary writing in a context where the novel genre is perceived as a depiction of the author's worldview. Given the socio-political contradictions and widespread dehumanisation that characterise present-day Africa, it is important to note that Musinde's novel is one of the answers to the political contradictions that impel postcolonial Africa into a situation of endless crisis. In this philosophical novel, the author endeavours to address the misuse of political power. Similarly, he is at pains to decry the unethical use of scientific knowledge. Much as politics is at the core of the narrative, it is important to note that the political vein is nothing more than a pretext used by the author to broach deeper philosophical issues, which are expressed through ethical imperatives. <![CDATA[<b>Hennie Aucamp (1934-2014)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2015000100017&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article sets out to analyse a trend in literary (re)positioning in the context of socio-political confrontation. In keeping with the literary approach adopted by Julien Kilanga Musinde in the novel Jardin secret, which was published in 2010, the article will focus on defining the ultimate objective(s) of literary writing in a context where the novel genre is perceived as a depiction of the author's worldview. Given the socio-political contradictions and widespread dehumanisation that characterise present-day Africa, it is important to note that Musinde's novel is one of the answers to the political contradictions that impel postcolonial Africa into a situation of endless crisis. In this philosophical novel, the author endeavours to address the misuse of political power. Similarly, he is at pains to decry the unethical use of scientific knowledge. Much as politics is at the core of the narrative, it is important to note that the political vein is nothing more than a pretext used by the author to broach deeper philosophical issues, which are expressed through ethical imperatives. <![CDATA[<b>Marthinus Beukes</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2015000100018&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article sets out to analyse a trend in literary (re)positioning in the context of socio-political confrontation. In keeping with the literary approach adopted by Julien Kilanga Musinde in the novel Jardin secret, which was published in 2010, the article will focus on defining the ultimate objective(s) of literary writing in a context where the novel genre is perceived as a depiction of the author's worldview. Given the socio-political contradictions and widespread dehumanisation that characterise present-day Africa, it is important to note that Musinde's novel is one of the answers to the political contradictions that impel postcolonial Africa into a situation of endless crisis. In this philosophical novel, the author endeavours to address the misuse of political power. Similarly, he is at pains to decry the unethical use of scientific knowledge. Much as politics is at the core of the narrative, it is important to note that the political vein is nothing more than a pretext used by the author to broach deeper philosophical issues, which are expressed through ethical imperatives. <![CDATA[<b>Mafika Pascal Gwala (1947-2014) : The poet-activist and the mirage of freedom</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2015000100019&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article sets out to analyse a trend in literary (re)positioning in the context of socio-political confrontation. In keeping with the literary approach adopted by Julien Kilanga Musinde in the novel Jardin secret, which was published in 2010, the article will focus on defining the ultimate objective(s) of literary writing in a context where the novel genre is perceived as a depiction of the author's worldview. Given the socio-political contradictions and widespread dehumanisation that characterise present-day Africa, it is important to note that Musinde's novel is one of the answers to the political contradictions that impel postcolonial Africa into a situation of endless crisis. In this philosophical novel, the author endeavours to address the misuse of political power. Similarly, he is at pains to decry the unethical use of scientific knowledge. Much as politics is at the core of the narrative, it is important to note that the political vein is nothing more than a pretext used by the author to broach deeper philosophical issues, which are expressed through ethical imperatives. <![CDATA[<b>Ali A. Mazrui (1933-2014) : A great man, a great scholar</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2015000100020&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article sets out to analyse a trend in literary (re)positioning in the context of socio-political confrontation. In keeping with the literary approach adopted by Julien Kilanga Musinde in the novel Jardin secret, which was published in 2010, the article will focus on defining the ultimate objective(s) of literary writing in a context where the novel genre is perceived as a depiction of the author's worldview. Given the socio-political contradictions and widespread dehumanisation that characterise present-day Africa, it is important to note that Musinde's novel is one of the answers to the political contradictions that impel postcolonial Africa into a situation of endless crisis. In this philosophical novel, the author endeavours to address the misuse of political power. Similarly, he is at pains to decry the unethical use of scientific knowledge. Much as politics is at the core of the narrative, it is important to note that the political vein is nothing more than a pretext used by the author to broach deeper philosophical issues, which are expressed through ethical imperatives. <![CDATA[<b>Chris van Wyk (1957-2014)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2015000100021&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article sets out to analyse a trend in literary (re)positioning in the context of socio-political confrontation. In keeping with the literary approach adopted by Julien Kilanga Musinde in the novel Jardin secret, which was published in 2010, the article will focus on defining the ultimate objective(s) of literary writing in a context where the novel genre is perceived as a depiction of the author's worldview. Given the socio-political contradictions and widespread dehumanisation that characterise present-day Africa, it is important to note that Musinde's novel is one of the answers to the political contradictions that impel postcolonial Africa into a situation of endless crisis. In this philosophical novel, the author endeavours to address the misuse of political power. Similarly, he is at pains to decry the unethical use of scientific knowledge. Much as politics is at the core of the narrative, it is important to note that the political vein is nothing more than a pretext used by the author to broach deeper philosophical issues, which are expressed through ethical imperatives. <![CDATA[<b>Making South Africa's Muslims creatively visible</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2015000100022&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es South Africa's Muslims have generally been well represented in different sectors of the society over the years. Since the arrival of the forefathers such as Shaykh Yusuf al-Makassari (d.1699) at the Cape, Muslims viewed themselves an integral part of the soil. During both the colonial and apartheid areas, however, they-as a religious minority-were depicted and portrayed by the creative artists such as painters, photographers and writers rather negatively. Gabeba Baderoon's book Regarding Muslims is a critical study that highlights how Muslim representations moved from the margins to the centre and from the picturesque to the menacing. This review essay this reflects on the contents of this invaluable and informative text. http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2015000100023&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es