Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Tydskrif vir Letterkunde]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=0041-476X20130002&lang=pt vol. 50 num. 2 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Models in the construction of female identity in Nigerian postcolonial literature</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2013000200001&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Gendered identity in Africa has for centuries been a hotbed of ideological and narrative contestations. While colonial constructions of the African female were generally essentialist and negative in character, early postcolonial African literature also ironically deployed essentialisms and rigid gender binaries to portray African womanhood, thus prompting a challenge of both by female African writers of the first generation. However, in a significant twist, second generation Nigerian women writers were to restore the related tropes of wifehood and motherhood to the front burner. This article examines the corresponding models of representation of gendered identity and the inherent, and complex, negotiation of gendered power relations over time in Nigerian postcolonial literature. These models, which we describe here as "essentialism entrenched", "essentialism challenged" and "essentialism negotiated" are examined against the background of gender theory and African womanist discourse. The essay observes that the resurgence of motherhood, albeit in mediated/transformative forms in Nigerian women writing, underscores the continuing challenge of culture in the formation of African gendered identities and in relation to societal development. The work of Akachi Ezeigbo, a leading Nigerian female writer of the second generation, is used in the article to illustrate this resurgence and its interface with womanist theorizing. <![CDATA[<b>The politics of rape</b>: <b>Traces of radical feminism in <i>Disgrace</i> by J. M. Coetzee</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2013000200002&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Disgroce can be read as a deliberation on rape in all its complexity, articulating and commenting upon many of the positions typical of the radical feminism of the seventies. Some feminists classify prostitution as a form of rape. Prostitution is the ideal form of sex for the main character, David, because it allows him to fantasize that a woman mirrors his wishes. The border between rape and consensual sex is shown to be problematic in the relationship between David and his young student, Melanie. Although some readers find that Melanie was willingly seduced, others consider that she was raped. The charge of sexual harassment is therefore unsatisfactory for both sides and, since David refuses to read the charges brought against him, he effectively silences his accuser. When his daughter, Lucy, equates heterosexual sex with killing and hating women, one can read it as evoking the radical feminist idea that men as a class subordinate women as a class through the threat of rape. Lucy's political lesbianism is a logical response to such misogyny. After being rape, Lucy accepts a subordinate position and this proves the power of rape in controlling women. Like one of the Sabine women, Lucy seems willing to sacrifice herself for peace between black and white in South Africa. <![CDATA[<b>'From today onwards, your name is February!' Naming and name stripping in texts of Diana Ferrus, I. D. du Plessis and Rayda Jacobs</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2013000200003&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article examines naming as the core of identity and how the stripping of a name can lead to the loss of identity. In South African history the colonisation of the Cape Colony since 1 652 is considered the start of forced labour and slavery. Although slavery had a major impact on South African history, limited slave narratives about their personal and life experiences are available. Their identity was hardly of interest to the colonists and it is therefore not surprising that the colonists were not concerned about the effects and consequences of name stripping on the marginalized slave. Naming is an ancient practice which deserves to be explored in its relation to identity. Naming and identity are inextricably linked. Richard D. Alford found that no single society exists which does not bestow personal names on its members. A personal name leads to individualisation and once it occurs naming enters the realm of identity. The effects of name stripping still surfaces centuries later with many descendents being unable to trace their family roots. Despite extended postcolonial research on various related fields, not much emphasis has been placed on naming and/ or name stripping of personal names in South Africa. This article explores the cognition of naming and the consequences of name stripping in contemporary Afrikaans literary texts. It argues that by stripping individuals from their names, they are torn from their history, place and culture. It specifically highlights naming techniques such as pejorative, calendar, classical and biblical names used to dehumanise and disempower slaves. These techniques will be examined in texts from three literary genres, the novel, The Slove Book by Rayda Jacobs, short stories in Drie Wêrelde ["Three Worlds"] by I. D. du Plessis and the poem, "Ons komvandaan" ("My Ancestry") by Diana Ferrus. <![CDATA[<b>The displaced Male-Image in Kaine Agary's <i>Yellow-Yellow</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2013000200004&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt It has been commonly asserted that Kaine Agary's Yellow-Yellow(2006) presents a sordid account of the deprivation of the protagonist's subsistence livelihood by oil despoilment. This assertion is made without much regard to the repressed and manifest anxieties and desires profoundly induced in the novel's central character by a male who is present, onto whom the absent male-figure is displaced. This article, therefore, investigates the provocations, corollaries, and correlations of the displaced male-image through its absence and presence and examines how the various offshoots of this image, whether as a father, lover, friend, autocrat or deliverer, are posited by the work's major characters. The manifestation of the varied shades of the male-image is vital for the destiny of the main character and a few others, accounting for their sexual behaviours, consequent torture and the work's tragic form. Also closely examined, through the coalescing and the application of Freudian and Jungian theories, are the anxieties stimulated by the absence or presence of the male-image, how they come about, are made manifest in the Nigerian literary tradition and repressed at the same time. From here, works that display the repressed are analysed and aligned to Yellow-Yellow. Besides the main characters' heeding of some kind of pleasure code, the super-structural image of the male person hangs, like an unseen shadow, over and above Yellow-Yellows major character, motivating her actions. <![CDATA[<b>Soul-brother Eugène N. Marais</b>: <b>Some notes towards a re-edit of his works</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2013000200005&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The intention is to survey the current condition of the works of the South African Eugène Marais (1871-1 936). This is with a view to alerting the general reader to certain inherited disorganisations which, in the light of professional scholarly and editing standards, need to be recognised and rectified. Marais's output as a poet and short story writer, as well as the pioneer populariser of nature studies conducted particularly in the Transvaal Highveld after the Second Anglo-Boer War, in both official languages of his day (English and Afrikaans), have ensured him the status of a unique cultural icon. Yet the publishing opportunities open to him in his hand to mouth, haunted career, especially as a journalist, meant his contributions were assembled into book form haphazardly, or remained unrecuperated from often neglected periodicals of the mid-1 890s to the mid-1930s to which he contributed. <![CDATA[<b>A personal text owned by its public - changing readings of Sarah Raal's <i>Met die Boere in die Veld</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2013000200006&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt What seems to be a typical feature of Boer women's personal texts which refer to the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1 902) is the militant rhetoric of protest against the British aggression. Met die Boere in die Veld ("With the Boers in the Veld") by Sarah Raal is a perfect example of this trend. Yet, her case is unique, because she actually spent a part of the war in the veld, fighting side by side with her brothers, which definitely was not a traditional place for a woman during a military conflict. Her memoirs were published for the first time in the 1 930s, reprinted a number of times, and re-issued in 2000 in two language editions- Afrikaans and English (significantly under a new title, The Lady who Fought). An additional introduction was added to both new editions, which suggests a new role of the heroine and a new meaning of her story. This paper discusses how Raal's original foreword and the new introduction influence the reader's response to the text. Additionally, attention is drawn to the role of other paratextual elements of the book and the matter of translation. Having taken into account political and gender discourses operating as a context for every reading, the text undergoes re-interpretations. Consequently, the book, once an anti-British Afrikaner nationalist propaganda story, turns into a popular adventure tale about a brave Boer girl, a story about an exceptional woman, a proto-feminist who transgresses the conventional gender roles, or into a universal pacifist protest. In the 2000 edition pacifist and feminist aspects come to the foreground, and this way the old story becomes a suitable read for the modern post-apartheid reader. <![CDATA[<b>Cultural conflict and shifting identities in Stephen Black's <i>The Dorp</i> (1920)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2013000200007&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article deals with journalist, dramatist and novelist Stephen Black's The Dorp (1 920), a novel which I regard as the earliest example of what I have named the small-town novel sub-genre of the South African English novel. Other early examples of the small-town novel are Willemsdorp by H.C. Bosman, The Mask by C. L. Leipoldt and Too Lote the Phalarope by Alan Paton. Black satirizes the goings-on in a typical South African town called Unionstad. The name of the town reveals the novel's threefold thematic impulse: an allegorical evocation of the Union Period (1910-48) in South Africa; an ironic-satirical thrust (the Union period was one of increasing political polarization and ultimately, an idealistic vision of cultural-political reconciliation. Unionstad, like the towns in the novels mentioned above, is portrayed as a microcosm of the national macrocosm. The Dorp reveals the ill effects of historical events such as the Boer War and the 1914 Rebellion, specifically the animosity that it created between English and Afrikaner townspeople. Black's keen awareness and representation of how the political turmoil in the country impacts on the lives of ordinary people and how town culture reflects key aspects of a bigger problem, are the main strengths of the novel. Black's vision for reconciliation is symbolized by the union in marriage of Anita van Ryn, the mayor's daughter and Ned Oakley, the English shopkeeper's son. <![CDATA[<b>Femi Osofisan tackles graft and corruption</b>: <b>A reading of his socially committed plays</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2013000200008&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Graft and corruption have become endemic and insidious in the Nigerian society that governance and leadership have continued to lack integrity and legitimacy. Femi Osofisan, a dedicated and committed apostle of change and social justice, has skilfully utilized the platform of drama to expose and ridicule the prevalence, pervasiveness and debilitating effects of graft and corruption as social vices in Nigeria. Following the tradition of African Drama's commitment to social issues, Osofisan berates all the tiers of government and the public office holders for the country's economic woes and the general poverty level of Nigerians. The concern of this paper is, therefore, an intense sociological exploration of Osofisan's plays that satirize and lampoon the seemingly legalized practice of bribery and corruption in Nigeria. A contextual and theoretical framework is provided for the paper to enable readers to have a clear conceptual understanding of the discourse. The paper also balances the pejorative and optimistic views of Osofisan on a decadent society. It concludes with his encomiums on those who have remained resolute and unwavering and his prognosis that the society will become better when such distinguished men and women are emulated and celebrated. <![CDATA[<b>Writing violence</b>: <b>Problematizing nationhood in Wole Soyinka's <i>A Shuttle in the Crypt</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2013000200009&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Wole Soyinka's A Shuttle in the Crypt is a distillation of deep-seated anger against what he perceived as his "unjustified confinement" of twenty-five months by the administration of General Yakubu Gowon during the Nigerian Civil War between 1967 and 1970. Nigeria's haunting, turbulent political history is approached from ostensibly mediation of fact and fiction rendered in poetry. Poems in this collection exteriorize Soyinka's mind as it shuttles back and forth from life to death, fuelled by the fear of palpable death, and the knowledge that his fellow prisoners were dying slowly, unheeded by the prison authority. A Shuttle in the Crypt dwells on notions, conceptions, symbolic actions and relations lifted clean from their social, historical and literary contexts which are fused into an ideal worldview whose coherence is purely conceptual. This essay evaluates the intersection of history, literature and society, to examine the façade of nationhood as orchestrated by the political upheaval and internecine conflict, essentially moderated by the pulsation of Soyinka's mind while in solitary confinement. It further examines the poetics of A Shuttle in the Crypt, as it underscores suspended fear of expression and the need to give expression to an ever greater pressure of grim experience in Nigeria's chequered political trajectory. <![CDATA[<b>Chinua Achebe (1930-2013)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2013000200010&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Wole Soyinka's A Shuttle in the Crypt is a distillation of deep-seated anger against what he perceived as his "unjustified confinement" of twenty-five months by the administration of General Yakubu Gowon during the Nigerian Civil War between 1967 and 1970. Nigeria's haunting, turbulent political history is approached from ostensibly mediation of fact and fiction rendered in poetry. Poems in this collection exteriorize Soyinka's mind as it shuttles back and forth from life to death, fuelled by the fear of palpable death, and the knowledge that his fellow prisoners were dying slowly, unheeded by the prison authority. A Shuttle in the Crypt dwells on notions, conceptions, symbolic actions and relations lifted clean from their social, historical and literary contexts which are fused into an ideal worldview whose coherence is purely conceptual. This essay evaluates the intersection of history, literature and society, to examine the façade of nationhood as orchestrated by the political upheaval and internecine conflict, essentially moderated by the pulsation of Soyinka's mind while in solitary confinement. It further examines the poetics of A Shuttle in the Crypt, as it underscores suspended fear of expression and the need to give expression to an ever greater pressure of grim experience in Nigeria's chequered political trajectory. <![CDATA[<b>Chinua Achebe (1930-2013)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2013000200011&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Wole Soyinka's A Shuttle in the Crypt is a distillation of deep-seated anger against what he perceived as his "unjustified confinement" of twenty-five months by the administration of General Yakubu Gowon during the Nigerian Civil War between 1967 and 1970. Nigeria's haunting, turbulent political history is approached from ostensibly mediation of fact and fiction rendered in poetry. Poems in this collection exteriorize Soyinka's mind as it shuttles back and forth from life to death, fuelled by the fear of palpable death, and the knowledge that his fellow prisoners were dying slowly, unheeded by the prison authority. A Shuttle in the Crypt dwells on notions, conceptions, symbolic actions and relations lifted clean from their social, historical and literary contexts which are fused into an ideal worldview whose coherence is purely conceptual. This essay evaluates the intersection of history, literature and society, to examine the façade of nationhood as orchestrated by the political upheaval and internecine conflict, essentially moderated by the pulsation of Soyinka's mind while in solitary confinement. It further examines the poetics of A Shuttle in the Crypt, as it underscores suspended fear of expression and the need to give expression to an ever greater pressure of grim experience in Nigeria's chequered political trajectory. <![CDATA[<b>Things still apart</b>: <b>Chinua Achebe's whetstone</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2013000200012&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Wole Soyinka's A Shuttle in the Crypt is a distillation of deep-seated anger against what he perceived as his "unjustified confinement" of twenty-five months by the administration of General Yakubu Gowon during the Nigerian Civil War between 1967 and 1970. Nigeria's haunting, turbulent political history is approached from ostensibly mediation of fact and fiction rendered in poetry. Poems in this collection exteriorize Soyinka's mind as it shuttles back and forth from life to death, fuelled by the fear of palpable death, and the knowledge that his fellow prisoners were dying slowly, unheeded by the prison authority. A Shuttle in the Crypt dwells on notions, conceptions, symbolic actions and relations lifted clean from their social, historical and literary contexts which are fused into an ideal worldview whose coherence is purely conceptual. This essay evaluates the intersection of history, literature and society, to examine the façade of nationhood as orchestrated by the political upheaval and internecine conflict, essentially moderated by the pulsation of Soyinka's mind while in solitary confinement. It further examines the poetics of A Shuttle in the Crypt, as it underscores suspended fear of expression and the need to give expression to an ever greater pressure of grim experience in Nigeria's chequered political trajectory. <![CDATA[<b>Chinua Achebe</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2013000200013&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Wole Soyinka's A Shuttle in the Crypt is a distillation of deep-seated anger against what he perceived as his "unjustified confinement" of twenty-five months by the administration of General Yakubu Gowon during the Nigerian Civil War between 1967 and 1970. Nigeria's haunting, turbulent political history is approached from ostensibly mediation of fact and fiction rendered in poetry. Poems in this collection exteriorize Soyinka's mind as it shuttles back and forth from life to death, fuelled by the fear of palpable death, and the knowledge that his fellow prisoners were dying slowly, unheeded by the prison authority. A Shuttle in the Crypt dwells on notions, conceptions, symbolic actions and relations lifted clean from their social, historical and literary contexts which are fused into an ideal worldview whose coherence is purely conceptual. This essay evaluates the intersection of history, literature and society, to examine the façade of nationhood as orchestrated by the political upheaval and internecine conflict, essentially moderated by the pulsation of Soyinka's mind while in solitary confinement. It further examines the poetics of A Shuttle in the Crypt, as it underscores suspended fear of expression and the need to give expression to an ever greater pressure of grim experience in Nigeria's chequered political trajectory. <![CDATA[<b>Deon Opperman and Janine Neethling's <i>Die Skepping </i>- A Spectacle</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2013000200014&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Deon Opperman (director and librettist) and Janine Neethling (composer) staged an Afrikaans oratorio called Die Skepping ("The Creation") in the State Theatre, Pretoria in February 2013. They aimed to produce a work that has "classical integrity" and that remains musically accessible to listeners. The musical language and the commerciality of the production, however, raise questions about the work's "classic" status. http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2013000200015&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt