Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Tydskrif vir Letterkunde]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=0041-476X20160002&lang=pt vol. 53 num. 2 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Re-animating the works of Thomas Mofolo by engaging with the original Sesotho texts</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2016000200001&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt <![CDATA[<b>Thomas Mofolo: the man, the writer and his contexts</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2016000200002&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt A substantial corpus of research has been published on Thomas Mofolo since the 1930s. Earlier portraits of Mofolo as a person leave much room for further amplification and improvement. The present research seeks to greatly enhance our understanding of Thomas Mofolo (1876-1948) by using a wealth of archival material, much of which is located at Morija Museum and Archives, and interviews with a variety of elderly informants, including Mofolo's last surviving daughter and other family members. As a result, Mofolo can now be seen more clearly as a person within the context of his large extended family, their antecedents in the wider region, his upbringing and educational formation, three successive marriages, professional life and business operations in a number of different contexts, involvement in political life, and the changing nature of his relationship with the church. The current article focuses on Mofolo's antecedents up until he began his literary career in 1905-6 at Morija, a subject that has received inadequate attention until now. By adding considerable texture to his early life and family history, as well as the historical and religious contexts and currents in which he was raised at Hermon, Qomoqomong and Morija, Thomas Mofolo emerges more clearly as an historical figure. For example, as a boy, we learn that Thomas imbibed a great deal from his father Abner Ramofolo Mofolo, a very hard-working and practically-oriented man, who was himself a gifted storyteller. Given the possibility of pursuing higher studies through the Protestant PEMS Mission, Thomas grabbed this opportunity and came to Morija at a particularly fruitful time during the 1890s, a time of ferment and great expectations. Mofolo, as part of an emerging cadre of "progressive ones" (bahlalefi or matsoelopele), developed his linguistic skills and eloquence to the point where, with the support of colleagues, he could dare to attempt something new, a creative synthesis of various forms of storytelling, indigenous and exogenous, in written Sesotho. His literary output has proved to be of enduring significance, and in the process he became, perhaps inadvertently, the father of the African novel. <![CDATA[<b>The Mofolo effect and the substance of Lesotho literature in English</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2016000200003&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Thomas Mofolo is a renowned twentieth century writer who emerged in Lesotho as a product of the spread of missionary education. Written in Sesotho, his works have been translated into English over time. Etymologically, the word "effect" in the title refers to a phenomenon or an observable fact or occurrence that assumes the effects of a norm. The word has connotations of positive expectation, standard, measure and yardstick in determining the reciprocal influence of between past and present, old and new in Basotho imaginative production. This article sets out to determine the impact of Thomas Mofolo's role as a precursor to, or predecessor of Lesotho literature in general. The idea is to measure whether we can speak of a "Mofolo effect" in both the origins and ascendancy of Lesotho literature in English in particular. <![CDATA[<b>Towards silence: Thomas Mofolo, small literatures and poor translation</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2016000200004&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Despite having written three novels in the first decade of the 20th century, Thomas Mofolo has been largely ignored by historians of literature. The story of the translations of his novels, from 1930 onwards is that of misconceptions and serious misunderstandings. The originality and the complexity of the works discouraged closer readings and they were reduced to simplistic models. This article shows that Traveller to the East and Chaka are not as disparate as they were seen to be at the time. Possible similarities between Thomas Mofolo and Sol Plaatje are also explored. Truth and reconciliation are about reading Mofolo again, and celebrating his example as the first African novelist. Translation is a major step towards reconciliation. <![CDATA[<b>Land, <i>botho </i>and identity in Thomas Mofolo's novels</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2016000200005&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Thomas Mofolo's literary output belongs to a plethora of discourses which address the meaning of self-identification in colonial and precolonial settings. Focusing on all three novels by Mofolo, the main aim of this article is to demonstrate how he constructs the meaning of identity through the narratives of land, humanistic values and nationhood. Reference is made to national debates and the realities of Lesotho in the nineteenth century that underpin the structure of these narratives. The article highlights Mofolo's insistence on botho, a humanistic value in Basotho society portrayed as an age-old indigenous consciousness antecedent to Christianity and Western influences. In Pitseng (1910) and Moeti oa Bochabela (1907), Mofolo substantiates botho's significance through a depiction of heroism, faith and a cultural fusion that entails a shifting of loyalties between Sesotho culture, on the one hand, and Christian and Western values on the other. In Chaka (1925), the author intertwines references to Sotho and Nguni cultures to rationalise the meaning of botho as the basis of individual and social identity. Consequently, the article demonstrates how Mofolo's works implicitly translate aspects of botho consciousness into a social, religious, economic and political practice. <![CDATA[‘…<b>oi, oi! ... you must go by the right path': Mofolo's <i>Chaka </i>revisited via the original text</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2016000200006&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Thomas Mofolo never defended himself against accusations that his novel Chaka distorts historical facts to express anti-Nguni sentiments under the guise of Christianity. But in a way he foreshadowed the possibility of it, by including as part of his novel a sentence which has become one of his most analysed: "But since it is not our purpose to recount all the affairs of his [Chaka's] life, we have chosen only one part which suits our present purpose". Mofolo does not elaborate on what he means by "our present purpose", but simply continues with the story. By focusing on the original Sesotho text, indigenous Zulu customs, African philosophy and the diversions from historical facts, this article explores other possibilities for what could have been Mofolo's "present purpose". My reading is that he tries to plumb what comprises ethical behaviour within a traditionallyvalued, pre-Christian ethos, making Chaka arguably one of the earliest philosophical, ethical investigations via the form of the novel on the African continent. <![CDATA[<b>A case for sheer compulsive and imaginative depth</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2016000200007&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Thomas Mofolo never defended himself against accusations that his novel Chaka distorts historical facts to express anti-Nguni sentiments under the guise of Christianity. But in a way he foreshadowed the possibility of it, by including as part of his novel a sentence which has become one of his most analysed: "But since it is not our purpose to recount all the affairs of his [Chaka's] life, we have chosen only one part which suits our present purpose". Mofolo does not elaborate on what he means by "our present purpose", but simply continues with the story. By focusing on the original Sesotho text, indigenous Zulu customs, African philosophy and the diversions from historical facts, this article explores other possibilities for what could have been Mofolo's "present purpose". My reading is that he tries to plumb what comprises ethical behaviour within a traditionallyvalued, pre-Christian ethos, making Chaka arguably one of the earliest philosophical, ethical investigations via the form of the novel on the African continent. <![CDATA[<b>Translating extra-linguistic culture-bound concepts in Mofolo: a daunting challenge to literary translators</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2016000200008&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Translating extra-linguistic culture-bound concepts in Mofolo presents a daunting challenge to literary translators as such concepts require that the translator possess a substantial amount of knowledge and background of the Sesotho culture. The present study undertakes a comparative analysis of Thomas Mofolo's Moeti oa Bochabela and its translations Traveller to the East (English) and L'homme qui marchait vers le soleil levant (French) to highlight problems encountered due to lack of understanding of culture-bound extra-linguistic elements (ECE). The article also aims to bring to light translation techniques employed and culture related factors that may hinder the translator from rendering the intended meaning with high accuracy. The semantic analysis of culture-bound extra-linguistic elements shows how readers of the English and French translation may not have a full grasp of the book due to lack of functional equivalence and the disparity in semantic range between Sesotho and the European languages. The impasse of meaning is evidenced throughout the book by the number of words that were either left untranslated or mistranslated as can be observed in the translation of the two poems addressed to Fekisi's cows. The paper uses some of the untranslated and mistranslated elements to show that there is no such a thing as an absolute translation. <![CDATA[<b>Insights into translation and the original text: Thomas Mofolo's <i>Chaka</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2016000200009&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This paper aims to explore the strategies applied during the translation of chosen passages from the original Sesotho text of Chaka by Thomas Mofolo into English. Insights expressed here originate from participation in the translation workshops during the conference on "Translating Mofolo". Different stages of the translation process are identified and discussed, while the main emphasis is placed on resolving instances of non-equivalence between the source text and the target text. Non-equivalence includes among other things, culturespecific words and expressions in the source language, grammatical considerations in both the source text and the target text, and the relationship between linguistic units in context. Culture specific words and expressions relate to idiomatic expressions and fixed combinations of words in the source and target texts. Grammatical considerations refer to the translation of Sesotho-specific moods and tenses, number, person, etc., into English, while the relationship between linguistic units is discussed with regard to cohesion, reference and other related cohesive devices in context. <![CDATA[<b>Traveller to the east or towards the rising sun? The English and French translations of <i>Moeti oa Bochabela</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2016000200010&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This paper aims to explore the strategies applied during the translation of chosen passages from the original Sesotho text of Chaka by Thomas Mofolo into English. Insights expressed here originate from participation in the translation workshops during the conference on "Translating Mofolo". Different stages of the translation process are identified and discussed, while the main emphasis is placed on resolving instances of non-equivalence between the source text and the target text. Non-equivalence includes among other things, culturespecific words and expressions in the source language, grammatical considerations in both the source text and the target text, and the relationship between linguistic units in context. Culture specific words and expressions relate to idiomatic expressions and fixed combinations of words in the source and target texts. Grammatical considerations refer to the translation of Sesotho-specific moods and tenses, number, person, etc., into English, while the relationship between linguistic units is discussed with regard to cohesion, reference and other related cohesive devices in context. <![CDATA[<b>Thomas Mofolo's sentence design in <i>Chaka </i>approached in translation</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2016000200011&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Mofolo's sentence design in Chaka is a challenge to the translator, not only because of the significant length of the sentences, but in particular for the extensive use of the semicolon, appearing within sentences of "paragraph-length". This prompted the suggestion that it be referred to as the "semicolon phrase". This article explores this stylistic feature, amongst others by responding to several compelling questions, ranging from how five translators of the work approached it in their respective languages, possible attitudes and influences, and likely intentions on the part of the author. With regard to the question of how the semicolon phrase should be approached in translation, it is argued that the topography of the page vests in the author who is licensed to shape the text as s/he wishes. Punctuation marks, however, appear to be more negotiable than narrative content, though the shape of the source text should be respected as far as possible. At the same time the target text needs to be approached in accordance with the conventions at work in the target language. The result is a challenging balancing act requiring considerable discretion. <![CDATA[<b>'A reflection of a reflection': Notes on representational and ethical possibilities in Thomas Mofolo's <i>Chaka</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2016000200012&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt In January 2014,1 published a Dutch poetry volume Mens Dier Ding (Man Animal Thing) in the Netherlands and Belgium. The book is partly based on research around the historical figure of Chaka, and especially Chaka's fictional representation in three versions of Thomas Mofolo's Chaka, namely the English translation by F. H. Dutton, the later translation by Daniel P. Kunene, and the Afrikaans translation by Chris Swanepoel. In other words, Man Animal Thing is a work of poetic fiction based on (or "inspired by") a work of fiction. This brings with it representational and ethical problems: what is used from which text, what is the tipping point between writing and merely copying, for which type of reader in which context and culture is the new work of fiction meant, and what are the consequences of portraying and imaging a fictional and historical figure? This article tries to highlight several aspects of the creative process of misreading, researching, writing, portraying and transforming in Mens Dier Ding. It explores how "translating" a work of fiction into another work of fiction is at the heart of the continuing conversation that is literature, and may even be a metaphor for postmodern, or better, metamodern literature, which is characterised by an oscillation between both modernism and postmodernism. <![CDATA[<b>The transculturation of Thomas Mofolo's <i>Chaka</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2016000200013&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Often, literary cultures from Anglophone Africa and Francophone Africa are treated as separate intellectual spheres. In this paper, I seek to understand the dialogue between these cultures. Thomas Mofolo's novel Chaka (1925), drawn from oral lore and written in Sotho by a Sotho writer, is about the life and times of the founder of the Zulu nation, King Chaka. I will show that Chaka is a transcultural text, which is at the source of a complex intellectual relationship between Southern Africa and Francophone Africa within the literature on Chaka. In particular, I am interested in the way in which an African writer from Lesotho could have shaped another African writer's ideas about the Zulu King-Senegalese poet Léopold Sédar Senghor-which, in turn, triggered a series of Africanist interpretations and rewritings. Through these multiple texts the impact of Chaka on African literature and ideology has been immeasurable. I will discuss Thomas Mofolo's novel contribution to Chaka's mythical status in Francophone African literature and Africanist ideology, mainly by way of the Negritude movement. In my analysis I postulate that the complexity of Mofolo's text and its transculturation stems from the novel's many forms/(trans)form (ations). <![CDATA[<b>Imaginary intersection: Thomas Mofolo, Gertrude Stein and W. E. B. Du Bois</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2016000200014&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Often, literary cultures from Anglophone Africa and Francophone Africa are treated as separate intellectual spheres. In this paper, I seek to understand the dialogue between these cultures. Thomas Mofolo's novel Chaka (1925), drawn from oral lore and written in Sotho by a Sotho writer, is about the life and times of the founder of the Zulu nation, King Chaka. I will show that Chaka is a transcultural text, which is at the source of a complex intellectual relationship between Southern Africa and Francophone Africa within the literature on Chaka. In particular, I am interested in the way in which an African writer from Lesotho could have shaped another African writer's ideas about the Zulu King-Senegalese poet Léopold Sédar Senghor-which, in turn, triggered a series of Africanist interpretations and rewritings. Through these multiple texts the impact of Chaka on African literature and ideology has been immeasurable. I will discuss Thomas Mofolo's novel contribution to Chaka's mythical status in Francophone African literature and Africanist ideology, mainly by way of the Negritude movement. In my analysis I postulate that the complexity of Mofolo's text and its transculturation stems from the novel's many forms/(trans)form (ations). <![CDATA[<b>Adam Small (1936-2016)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2016000200015&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Often, literary cultures from Anglophone Africa and Francophone Africa are treated as separate intellectual spheres. In this paper, I seek to understand the dialogue between these cultures. Thomas Mofolo's novel Chaka (1925), drawn from oral lore and written in Sotho by a Sotho writer, is about the life and times of the founder of the Zulu nation, King Chaka. I will show that Chaka is a transcultural text, which is at the source of a complex intellectual relationship between Southern Africa and Francophone Africa within the literature on Chaka. In particular, I am interested in the way in which an African writer from Lesotho could have shaped another African writer's ideas about the Zulu King-Senegalese poet Léopold Sédar Senghor-which, in turn, triggered a series of Africanist interpretations and rewritings. Through these multiple texts the impact of Chaka on African literature and ideology has been immeasurable. I will discuss Thomas Mofolo's novel contribution to Chaka's mythical status in Francophone African literature and Africanist ideology, mainly by way of the Negritude movement. In my analysis I postulate that the complexity of Mofolo's text and its transculturation stems from the novel's many forms/(trans)form (ations). <![CDATA[<b>Adam Small (1936-2016)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2016000200016&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Often, literary cultures from Anglophone Africa and Francophone Africa are treated as separate intellectual spheres. In this paper, I seek to understand the dialogue between these cultures. Thomas Mofolo's novel Chaka (1925), drawn from oral lore and written in Sotho by a Sotho writer, is about the life and times of the founder of the Zulu nation, King Chaka. I will show that Chaka is a transcultural text, which is at the source of a complex intellectual relationship between Southern Africa and Francophone Africa within the literature on Chaka. In particular, I am interested in the way in which an African writer from Lesotho could have shaped another African writer's ideas about the Zulu King-Senegalese poet Léopold Sédar Senghor-which, in turn, triggered a series of Africanist interpretations and rewritings. Through these multiple texts the impact of Chaka on African literature and ideology has been immeasurable. I will discuss Thomas Mofolo's novel contribution to Chaka's mythical status in Francophone African literature and Africanist ideology, mainly by way of the Negritude movement. In my analysis I postulate that the complexity of Mofolo's text and its transculturation stems from the novel's many forms/(trans)form (ations). <![CDATA[<b>Zulfah Otto-Sallies: an open door; an open heart</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2016000200017&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Often, literary cultures from Anglophone Africa and Francophone Africa are treated as separate intellectual spheres. In this paper, I seek to understand the dialogue between these cultures. Thomas Mofolo's novel Chaka (1925), drawn from oral lore and written in Sotho by a Sotho writer, is about the life and times of the founder of the Zulu nation, King Chaka. I will show that Chaka is a transcultural text, which is at the source of a complex intellectual relationship between Southern Africa and Francophone Africa within the literature on Chaka. In particular, I am interested in the way in which an African writer from Lesotho could have shaped another African writer's ideas about the Zulu King-Senegalese poet Léopold Sédar Senghor-which, in turn, triggered a series of Africanist interpretations and rewritings. Through these multiple texts the impact of Chaka on African literature and ideology has been immeasurable. I will discuss Thomas Mofolo's novel contribution to Chaka's mythical status in Francophone African literature and Africanist ideology, mainly by way of the Negritude movement. In my analysis I postulate that the complexity of Mofolo's text and its transculturation stems from the novel's many forms/(trans)form (ations). <![CDATA[<b>Tydskrif vir Letterkunde @80</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2016000200018&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Often, literary cultures from Anglophone Africa and Francophone Africa are treated as separate intellectual spheres. In this paper, I seek to understand the dialogue between these cultures. Thomas Mofolo's novel Chaka (1925), drawn from oral lore and written in Sotho by a Sotho writer, is about the life and times of the founder of the Zulu nation, King Chaka. I will show that Chaka is a transcultural text, which is at the source of a complex intellectual relationship between Southern Africa and Francophone Africa within the literature on Chaka. In particular, I am interested in the way in which an African writer from Lesotho could have shaped another African writer's ideas about the Zulu King-Senegalese poet Léopold Sédar Senghor-which, in turn, triggered a series of Africanist interpretations and rewritings. Through these multiple texts the impact of Chaka on African literature and ideology has been immeasurable. I will discuss Thomas Mofolo's novel contribution to Chaka's mythical status in Francophone African literature and Africanist ideology, mainly by way of the Negritude movement. In my analysis I postulate that the complexity of Mofolo's text and its transculturation stems from the novel's many forms/(trans)form (ations).