Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Tydskrif vir Letterkunde]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=0041-476X20190001&lang=pt vol. 56 num. 1 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Introduction: ghostly borders</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2019000100001&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt <![CDATA[<b>The hauntological imaginary in Bernadine Evaristo's <i>Soul Tourists </i>(2005)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2019000100002&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article examines the novel, Soul Tourists (2005), by Bernadine Evaristo, a black British writer of Nigerian and English descent, through the notion of hauntology. Based on the author's assertion that "her preoccupation is her DNA," I explore the novel's depiction of a black British couple-Stanley and Jessie-as they take a road trip across Europe, and the haunting of Stanley by the ghosts of black historical figures along the way. I draw on Avery Gordon's framing of hauntology as both a racialized experience of invisible power structures of oppressions and a call to action. I firstly consider Stanley and Jessie's personal histories as haunted sites of melancholia and repressed memories. I further link hauntology to the imbrication of spiritual and physical worlds through an analysis of the erased historical figures-ghosts-that speak to Stanley at various locations along their journey. Over and above the spatiotemporal (re)mapping of blackness in Europe and the challenge to the ontological definition of Europe as 'being' a space of whiteness, I relate the hauntological imaginary to a schema of black ancestry. <![CDATA[<b>The ghostly matter of asylum in Kivu Ruhorahoza's <i>A Tree Has Fallen (Europa)</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2019000100003&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This paper applies Avery Gordon's insights in Ghostly Matters to Kivu Ruhorahoza's 2019 film, A Tree Has Fallen, and vice-versa. For Gordon, the ghost reveals visibility itself to be "a complex system of permissions and prohibitions." The ghost is a case, as Gordon puts it, of "visible invisibility," of seeing that one is not there. In Ruhorahoza's film, the protagonist, Simon, is an African asylum seeker in the UK, now a ghost. Even before he becomes ghostly matter, Simon is already ghostly: he is held in limbo, consistently denied, deemed threatening, highly visible yet rendered invisible, a figure whose claims to a past are deemed invalid in official channels. For Gordon, the ghost is a liminal presence, "what appears dead, but is nevertheless powerfully alive." In Ruhorahoza's film, the protagonist appears to be alive, but is nevertheless powerfully dead. Gordon notes the refusal of modern social scientists to acknowledge, or to speak to ghosts: what happens when British subjects speak to its African ghosts, and vice versa? This paper investigates what the ghostly relations in the film suggest about political subjectivity, visibility, and the politics of asylum. Potentially, the essay offers a reading of what may no longer be visible in Ruhorahoza's film, as the essay was written before Ruhorahoza edited A Tree Has Fallen, transformed it, and re-titled it Europa. <![CDATA[<b>In the tracks of the impossible</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2019000100004&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Arising from experiences of slavery and exile, flamenco was strongly influenced, (re)created, and (re)imagined by black people who lived in southern Spanish cities for over 400 years. Despite consistent and intentional erasure, the fact is that between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries, there was an important Black presence in the Iberian Peninsula. When I began research for Gurumbé: Canciones de tu Memoria Negra (2016) (Gurumbé: Afro-Andalucian Memories), I set out to reveal this history, to break this silence and expulsion that denies the history and legacy-and the humanity-of Afro-Andalusians. And under the many layers of silencing the memory of Spanish Afrodescendants, I found that Black memory had survived in the body. In flamenco, it created a discourse of resistance in the fact of the oppressors which has transcended time and history. <![CDATA[<b>Imagining a politics of relation: Glissant's border thought and the German border</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2019000100005&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This study explores the theoretical and political potentials of Édouard Glissant's philosophy of relation and its approach to the issues of borders, migration, and the setup of political communities as proposed by his pensée nouvelle de la frontière (new border thought), against the background of the German migration crisis of 2015. The main argument of this article is that Glissant's work offers an alternative epistemological and normative framework through which the contemporary political issues arising around the phenomenon of repressive border regimes can be studied. To demonstrate this point, this article works with Glissant's border thought as an analytical lens and proposes a pathway for studying the contemporary German border regime. Particular emphasis is placed on the identification of potential areas where a Glissantian politics of relation could intervene with the goal of transforming borders from impermeable walls into points of passage. By exploring the political implications of his border thought, as well as the larger philosophical context from which it emerges, while using a transdisciplinary approach that borrows from literary and political studies, this work contributes to ongoing debates in postcolonial studies on borders and borderlessness, as well as Glissant's political legacy in the twenty-first century. <![CDATA[<b>Unsettled intimacies: revisiting Edith Wharton's <i>The Custom of the Country </i>through Nella Larsen's <i>Quicksand</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2019000100006&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Scholars have highlighted Nella Larsen's textual interventions into aspects of Edith Wharton's major works. The interventions, they claim, not only unmask Wharton's pointed operations of erasure against people of color but, in some cases, showcase her racism. None of these works, however, devote critical analysis to the interventions staged in Wharton's The Custom of the Country (1913), the novel that, I argue, is her most definitive statement on the role of market-based capitalism on the fate of Western civilization. Larsen's Quicksand(1928) shares many of Custom's thematic concerns. Though writing from different class and racial perspectives, both writers must account for the social developments that spilled over from the previous century to articulate their implications for their heroines in terms of marriage, family, work, divorce, sex, and race relations on a trans-Atlantic scale. However, given that Custom almost entirely elides the presence of people of color, assessing it alongside Quicksand animates the specter of colonialism that haunts the text, inviting us to remember why not all bodies, as M. Jacqui Alexander argues in "Not Just (Any) Body Can Be a Citizen," can be imagined as naturalized citizen subjects within the rubric of modern capitalism. <![CDATA[<b>Ambiguous agency in the vulnerable trafficked body: reading Sanusi's <i>Eyo </i>and Unigwe's <i>On Black Sisters' Street</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2019000100007&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The narrativization of the trafficked body in the novels of Abidemi Sanusi and Chika Unigwe allows for a contemplation of Europe in African migrant imaginaries as both promise and failure. Sanusi's Eyo is a narrative of a ten-year-old girl who is trafficked to the United Kingdom as a human sex slave. The novel draws attention to the tensions that define her being/unbeing in Europe and beyond, even after a brave escape from her traffickers. This precarious existence is enhanced in Chika Unigwe's On Black Sisters' Street, whose main characters exist in Europe selling their bodies while existing in states of continuous vulnerability. In reading these two novels side by side, this article explores the discursive meanings of trafficked bodies and how traumatic existence allows for an engagement with Europe as illusory in the imaginaries of African women who cross borders into Europe. The article argues that while the female characters are vulnerable, they retain an ambiguous agency contained within their ability to survive and remain resilient in the face of atrocities for borders crossers. The narrative form of the novel allows for an exploration of what this agency looks like in the face of extreme vulnerability. <![CDATA[<b>Setting readers at sea: Fatou Diome's <i>Ventre de I'Atlantique</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2019000100008&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Fatou Diome's first novel, Le Ventre de I'Atlantique (2003), can be read as a work of migrant literature in which the Atlantic figures as a separating expanse beholden to a single past, that of the Atlantic Slave Trade. The ocean divides contemporary African migrants to Europe from the continent, as it did enslaved Africans taken forcibly to the Americas; it consumes a returned impoverished migrant, as it swallowed those who did not survive the Middle Passage. Yet for the authorial protagonist, Salie, and her island home, the Senegalese fishing village of Niodior, the Atlantic evokes multiple histories and experiences. This ocean is a place of freedom, as well as its absence; of daily sustenance, as well as migration; of life, as well as death; of postcolonial violence, as well as the violence of the Trade. The novel's Atlantic, like the text as a whole, alludes to many pasts and, at times, abandons the dualities of place, race, and gender that organize most contemporary discourse about migration and oppression. Passages of opaque desire and oblique critique diverge from a dichotomous geography of continents and subject positions. Where Salie and Niodior emerge uncontained by categories inherited from colonial discourses, there are intimations of what genuinely postcolonial freedom might be. <![CDATA[<b>African "ghosts" and the myth of "Italianness": the presence of migrant writers in Italian literature</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2019000100009&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt In this article, I analyze the cultural meaning of the emergence of an African migrant literature in Italy at the beginning of the 1990s and its presence today. I put this emergence in dialogue with the construction of Italian identity as white. Through a brief historical account of how this social construction came into being, I verify how African migrant literature contests this (de)racialized myth of "Italianness." Using Gordon's concept of "haunting," I argue that African literature within Italian literature can be read as a manifestation of ghosts: the appearance of a presence that has always been there but was repressed by hegemonic discourses. African literature not only works against subalternity, but also reveals whiteness as imagined and acknowledges a colonial past that has been deleted from the public remembrance. Despite such work, African migrant authors today are still writing against the paradigm of the "arrival," asking: who is Italian? Who can represent Italian citizens? <![CDATA[<b>(Im)mobilities and migration in the work of César Mba Abogo and Donato Ndongo-Bidyogo</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2019000100010&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Many literary texts written by authors of African origin in the Spanish language engage with the experience of migration and of living in a European society that marginalizes and homogenizes migrants as the 'African Other.' Rather than reproduce stereotypical images of African migrants, these texts challenge a biased debate on migration to Europe, offering an alternative vision of a complex phenomenon. In these texts, migrants are individuals whose mobility is restricted because they are subjected to processes of Othering, which confine them to the margins of Spanish society, raising issues of mobility in/justice and forced im/mobilities related to hegemonic power relations, coloniality, and race. Privileging the perspective of African migrant subjects in creating new imaginaries of migration to Europe, this article examines the mobilities paradigm in the context of transnational migration in a postcolonial era and discusses the potential of literary texts to unsilence 'immobile voices.' Through this lens, I offer readings of César Mba Abogo's El Porteador de Marlow: Canción negra sin color (2007) and Donato Ndongo-Bidyogo's El Metro (2007), grounding my scholarship in Equatoguinean literature and contemporary hispanophone African literature. <![CDATA[<b>Stammering tongue</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2019000100011&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt 'Stammering tongue' is the governing metaphor we offer in our reading of the border. The border, we read as a central technique of both the modern state and the violence that produces it. Our project is a diffractive encounter with the modality of implicating and complicating reading and writing. The paper offers a reading of two recent texts, Christina Sharpe's In the Wake: On Blackness and Being that draws from the metaphor/practice of the Middle Passage to offer "The Wake," "The Ship," "The Hold," and "The Weather," to theorize black violability, black death, and black living. We read Sharpe beside Jasbir K. Puar's The Right to Maim: Debility, Capacity, Disability where she uses the notion of debility to stress the relations between harm, gender, race, war, and labor. We offer the 'stammering tongue,' in pursuit of a conversation between ourselves, Sharpe, and Puar. The stammering tongue is a racialized, sexualized border that produces (im)possible readings and utterances. We frame the stammering tongue as one that turns to negativity and reclaims lack to generate potentiality from that lack. <![CDATA[<b>Translation as conversation: Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o in Euskara</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2019000100012&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt 'Stammering tongue' is the governing metaphor we offer in our reading of the border. The border, we read as a central technique of both the modern state and the violence that produces it. Our project is a diffractive encounter with the modality of implicating and complicating reading and writing. The paper offers a reading of two recent texts, Christina Sharpe's In the Wake: On Blackness and Being that draws from the metaphor/practice of the Middle Passage to offer "The Wake," "The Ship," "The Hold," and "The Weather," to theorize black violability, black death, and black living. We read Sharpe beside Jasbir K. Puar's The Right to Maim: Debility, Capacity, Disability where she uses the notion of debility to stress the relations between harm, gender, race, war, and labor. We offer the 'stammering tongue,' in pursuit of a conversation between ourselves, Sharpe, and Puar. The stammering tongue is a racialized, sexualized border that produces (im)possible readings and utterances. We frame the stammering tongue as one that turns to negativity and reclaims lack to generate potentiality from that lack. <![CDATA[<b>Book reviews</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2019000100013&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt 'Stammering tongue' is the governing metaphor we offer in our reading of the border. The border, we read as a central technique of both the modern state and the violence that produces it. Our project is a diffractive encounter with the modality of implicating and complicating reading and writing. The paper offers a reading of two recent texts, Christina Sharpe's In the Wake: On Blackness and Being that draws from the metaphor/practice of the Middle Passage to offer "The Wake," "The Ship," "The Hold," and "The Weather," to theorize black violability, black death, and black living. We read Sharpe beside Jasbir K. Puar's The Right to Maim: Debility, Capacity, Disability where she uses the notion of debility to stress the relations between harm, gender, race, war, and labor. We offer the 'stammering tongue,' in pursuit of a conversation between ourselves, Sharpe, and Puar. The stammering tongue is a racialized, sexualized border that produces (im)possible readings and utterances. We frame the stammering tongue as one that turns to negativity and reclaims lack to generate potentiality from that lack.