Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Tydskrif vir Letterkunde]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=0041-476X20080002&lang=pt vol. 45 num. 2 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Magical realism and the religious in <i>Praying Mantis</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2008000200001&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article explores the magical realist features in André P. Brink's novel Bidsprinkaan (the Afrikaans version of Praying Mantis) namely, the shaping of a hybrid and liminal world in the postcolonial context and the consequent effect on different religious perspectives of the Christian missionaries and the Khoi people. Kupido Kakkerlak is a representative of both these worlds. The hybrid position of a magical realist perspective containing both the magical and realist realms of religion and peoples' daily existence and the intertwining of myth and history are discussed while the author also focuses on the specific magical realist characteristics of the text. The implicit and explicit undermining of the Christian belief of the missionaries as one of many belief systems in the world of Kupido Kakkerlak and his people seems to be one of the possible interpretations of this text. The role of magical realism in questioning and undermining one of the master narratives of colonialisation, i.e. the development of Christianity in colonial territories, is shown. <![CDATA[<b>The remembered past in Elsa Joubert's <i>Isobelle's Journey</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2008000200002&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The experience of the passage of time and our attempts to remember the past is central in Elsa Joubert's Die reise van Isobelle (1995) (translated in English as Isobelle's Journey). In this novel memory and the importance of remembering is contemplated. The novel starts with the end of an era (the Victorian era - described as an era of "innocence" of which we can only recognise the "pattern" afterwards) and closes with the end of an era (the end of apartheid). The ending of two eras draws attention to the passage of time. Remembering the past is a flawed process, often brings a sense of loss, but also contributes finding a way of looking towards the future. In this article the problems with remembering and forgetting is traced in the novel, but also how memory brings new possibilities to confront an uncertain future of which the patterns are not yet discernable. The novel deals specifically with autobiographic memory and the way in which this kind of memory contributes to morality. Ways in which memory can be employed to engage meaningfully with the current situation are indicated. <![CDATA[<b>From the point of view of an outsider: The role of identity and space in the development of a community specific youth novella</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2008000200003&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The reading habits (or lack thereof) of adolescents in South Africa, like those in the rest of the world, are reason for concern. The fact that adolescents read distressingly little can be attributed to different reasons. It may be because of a lack of skill and interest, or because there is a dearth of texts with which they can identify. If more texts were created in which adolescents can identify with the spaces and identities portrayed, the reading statistics in South Africa may shift positively. However, at present not all communities and voices in the country are represented by a diversity of writers, especially writers of youth literature. In the Afrikaans speaking coloured community of Promosa, Potchefstroom, the same tendency is found. Although it is ideal that these communities should be represented by their own writers, who know them best, this is not always the case. Is it therefore possible for an outsider to create a youth novel for a specific target group with which they (the adolescents of Promosa) will identify? <![CDATA[<b>The enigmatic nature of the trickster figure in Ingrid Winterbach's <i>Niggie</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2008000200004&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article explores the enigmatic nature of tricksters in Ingrid Winterbach's Niggie (Cousin, 2002), as manifested in everyday life through the supernatural and the unconscious (for instance in dreams). In this way some of the puzzling aspects of this magisterial novel are clarified. Early in Niggie the reader is confronted with a trickster figure in the form of a dream figure, the red haired woman with the little feather hat, who appears in the farmer's epiphanic dream. After tricking him, she leaves him with an intense sense of loss. This type of trickster figure is variously embodied and manifested throughout the novel in several other mysterious characters, adding to the jouissance or playfulness and ambiguity in the novel. It would appear that Winterbach as a South African author was inspired not only by tricksters from European mythology, but also by indigenous African, Khoi and San mythology. In this regard trickster figures from the Khoi and San as well as Nguni cultures are also discussed. These figures are, amongst others, the Mantis (/Kaggen), Heitsi-Eibeb, Uthlakanyana and Tokoloshe. <![CDATA[<b>Embodiments of death in the novels of Lettie Viljoen/Ingrid Winterbach</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2008000200005&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt References to death and mortality play an (increasingly) important role in the works of Lettie Viljoen/Ingrid Winterbach. In this article the central role of personifications of death in her novels is investigated. There are mainly two important ways in which death is embodied in her novels since 1 993, i.e. as an ubiquitous, but simultaneously absent male figure, such as Jama in Karolina Ferreira (translated as The Elusive Moth, 1 993, 2005), Jan de Dood in Buller se plan (Buller's plan, 1999) and Theo Verwey in Die boek van toeval en toeverlaat (The book of coincidence and refuge, 2006) and the femme fatale and angel of death, respectively represented by a seductive woman with red hair and pale skin and either an emaciated woman in black, or a black woman as in Landskap met vroue en slang (Landscape with women and snake, 1996) Buller se plan and Niggie (translated as To Hell with Cronjé, 2002, 2007). These personifications function as so-called memento mori - iconographic reminders of mortality. Although death obtains a specific personal appearance through personification, it does not become more knowable or representable in the works of Viljoen/Winterbach, however. In fact, these embodiments repeatedly rather underline the ungraspable nature and unknowableness of death. In the novels since Karolina Ferreira there is, eventually, a sustained tension between the attempts to make death more knowable and representable on the one hand and, on the other, the understanding or concession that all these attempts are, ultimately, insufficient and limited. <![CDATA[<b>Children's identity, race and sexuality in <i>Ons is nie almal so</i> and <i>Die reuk van appels</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2008000200006&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article discusses the self-narration of two children, Marnus in Mark Behr's Die reuk van appels (translated as The smell of apples, 1993) and Gertie in Jeanne Goosen's Ons is nie almal so nie (1990), translated as We're not all like that(2007). These children integrate stereotypes about race and sexuality to form complex, richer narratives about their role in society. Both Gertie and Marnus take contradictory discourses (Coloureds both inferior to us and human like us) and form richer narratives. Both characters are exposed to an alternative non-racist discourse, but "choose" to stay within the dominant racist discourse because their identity as male and female respectively is bound within it. Marnus' choice involves masculinity, violence and sport, and Gertie as Little Red Riding Hood is metaphorically swallowed by the fox of Christian values about women and sex. <![CDATA[<b>An ethical perspective on South African ecotourism</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2008000200007&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The paper offers an analysis of an ethnographic perspective on the contemporary status of indigenous tribes of South Africa. The analysis concerns a specific publication Herovering van het paradijs (Paradise reconquered) which constitutes a report on the indigenous peoples of South Africa compiled as an incentive of the Dutch Organization for International Aid (Novib). The paper focuses on the negative perception of tourism in contemporary ethnography recently tending to interpret it as a type of colonialism of a modern kind. The more recent ethnographic account distances itself from the empirical approach, as if allowing the underprivileged to speak for themselves, while it in fact contradicts its initial assumptions. The apparent concern for the authenticity of the indigenous, though unintended, defies any manifestation of cultural hybridization which is, moreover, held to blame, as can be gathered, for the present disastrous condition of the indigenous peoples. The message of the contemporary ethnographic accounts is reinforced by the photos of some modern or "western" items recycled to fit a traditional, e.g., Bushman environment. The above strategy of presentation results in a deliberate reversal of the established order. Its aim is to demonstrate the absurdity involved in the interpenetration of rules and norms valid for different civilizations. In this way, undeniable similarities of cultures are backgrounded while the Bushman self-destructive distinctiveness is foregrounded. As one can conclude, what the authors of the book under scrutiny are aiming at, while claiming the rights to impose their own norms on the local culture, is nothing else but the petrifaction of the mythical tribal condition. <![CDATA[<b>Tales in/on initiation rituals</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2008000200008&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt All over the world stories are told in which girls become women. Young heroines survive outside and inside, lightning and thunder, earthquakes and floods ... In spite of bodily harms, jealous mothers, incestuous fathers, animal suitors ... changing women emerge, bleeding instead of sleeping, alive and kicking, rooted in firm female flesh after their second birth. The author collected oral stories about growing up from girl to woman among the Sepedi and Griqua in South Africa. In this article she deals with questions about writing these stories for young readers from other cultural contexts. She attempts to answer the question: How much is lost in translation? <![CDATA[<b>Not a scintilla of light: Darkness and despondency in Yvonne Vera's <i>Butterfly Burning</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2008000200009&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The paper makes an attempt at exploring the concept of the absurd as it applies to Yvonne Vera's Butterfly Burning. The inordinate quest for survival and human dignity is graphically etched on the sordid canvas of angst, grime and abject poverty. The author deftly links this quest with the quest of identity which is manifested in a stream of endless waiting. The world of the novel is patently portrayed as irrational. The absurd is depicted, in the vein of Camus, as the function of the conflict between the irrational world and the human being's passionate desires. The grossly traumatised and colonised humanity in Makokoba, a microcosm of Southern Africa, represents a scathing human condition. The female protagonist Phephelaphi is cast as an emblem of a subjugated and struggling African person seeking an identity as well as self-fulfilment. Phephelaphi, as a matter of course, bears the Sisyphean burden which remains unmitigated for the stone continuously rolls to the foot of the hill. This futile, endless and laborious feat which is symptomatic of the individual's relentless struggles on earth echoes the absurd in an irrational milieu. This is inextricably linked with an indomitable and immortal time against which African men, women and children contend as they are kept waiting in stark futility. <![CDATA[<b>Migrating bards: Writers' burdens and a writers' body in Nigeria at the turn of the century</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2008000200010&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Wole Soyinka's 1986 Nobel Prize for literature was received as a well deserved international recognition not only of the distinction of Soyinka's sustained output but also as a tribute to Nigerian and African literature in general. However, given decades of irresponsible leadership in the country, a sober appraisal of the Nigerian cultural and intellectual front twenty years after the Nobel event reveals a shocking impoverishment of the institutions for the production and evaluation of literature. With a collapsed publishing industry and the continuing migration of Nigeria's most distinguished writers and literary critics to the West, Nigerian literature stands the risk of being subject to the dictates of legitimizing foreign agents of literary production and evaluation with the consequent danger of the perpetuation of Western biases of African literary excellence. By its crucial interventionist measures though, the Association of Nigerian Authors continues to strive to transform the socio-political environment so critical for the creation and appreciation of literature, to sustain the ideals of good writing in Nigeria and, moreover, by its annual awards of literary prizes, to remain a prominent stakeholder in the appraisal of literary excellence. <![CDATA[<b>Literary strains of négritude and consciencism in Joseph Brahim Seid: Envisioning nation and a new multicultural Chadian identity</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2008000200011&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This study introduces Joseph Brahim Seid, one of Africa's intellectuals of the first generation of independence, in relation to the idéologisation of his contemporaneous counterparts, to Léopold Sédar Senghor's négritude and Kwame Nkrumah's consciencism. Two stories from J. B. Seid's 1962 collection, Au Tchad sous les Etoiles (translated as Told By Starlight in Chad, 2007) are read as envisioning nation and a new multicultural Chadian identity at the moment of independence. Unpacking literary strains of négritude and consciencism lays bare neglected and overlooked tensions that thwart reconciliation of the different segments of Chadian society: African/tradition-Arab/Islam-Western/Christianity. One story envisions modernisation in the reconciliation between Africa and the West, but in real life modernisaton does not occur within the context of African communalism as the story has it, but in the neo-colonial context, where it benefits the few, and mostly international stakeholders. Possibly with the intent of building nation, Seid tends to harmonize African-Arab cultures and traditional-Islamic religions, neglecting the tyranny of Islamisation and Arabisation in the past. In the present, as we know, rivalry between Arab and African populations in the Chad region has resurfaced. Superimposing Biblical motifs and understating traditional African beliefs and religious practices in a story that tends to reconcile Christianity, Islam and the traditional society, Seid overlooks the colonial context in which "civilising" Christianity is implicated, especially the distaste it engendered towards the traditional society and religions. Double-standards result from the higher prestige attaching to Islam, associated with literacy, and Christianity, associated with modernisation, thus African societies have yielded to the perceived progress imperative. While J. B. Seid's stories elevate the traditional societal value of communalism, portrayed with positive affect, in real life it has not transformed itself into a socialism sufficient to build nation and promote the multiculturalism envisioned and desired. <![CDATA[<b>Women and their struggle for emancipation in Lopes' œ</b><b>uvre</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2008000200012&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Born in Kinshasa, Congo, on 12 September 1937, but a national of Congo (Brazzaville), Henri Lopes is one of those African writers who, were not only educated but also lived in Europe where a certain portion of their literary work was produced. Being a politician and writer, one can easily glean, through Lopes' works, a complete picture of despotic postcolonial mismanagement of political affairs coupled with a dire dearth of humanism. Literary works such as Tribaliques (Tribaliks, 1971), La nouvelle Romance (The New Romance, 1976), Sans tam-tam (Without Drum, 1 977), Le Pleurer-Rire (The Crying-Laughter, 1982) and Sur l'autre ríve (On the Other Shore, 1 992) depict a particular worldview as well as an understanding of the overarching reality of a young Africa that had just attained political independence. However, while Lopes' works decry the shortcomings of Africa's postcolonial ruling class, it is important to note that the author appears to pay equal attention to questions relating to the perception and critical analysis of the status of women in Africa. Notwithstanding his male gender status, in his rather original approach, Lopes lends women a revolutionary voice with which they address and search for solutions to their problems themselves. <![CDATA[<b>Aimé Césaire (1913-2008): The passion of the poet</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2008000200013&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Born in Kinshasa, Congo, on 12 September 1937, but a national of Congo (Brazzaville), Henri Lopes is one of those African writers who, were not only educated but also lived in Europe where a certain portion of their literary work was produced. Being a politician and writer, one can easily glean, through Lopes' works, a complete picture of despotic postcolonial mismanagement of political affairs coupled with a dire dearth of humanism. Literary works such as Tribaliques (Tribaliks, 1971), La nouvelle Romance (The New Romance, 1976), Sans tam-tam (Without Drum, 1 977), Le Pleurer-Rire (The Crying-Laughter, 1982) and Sur l'autre ríve (On the Other Shore, 1 992) depict a particular worldview as well as an understanding of the overarching reality of a young Africa that had just attained political independence. However, while Lopes' works decry the shortcomings of Africa's postcolonial ruling class, it is important to note that the author appears to pay equal attention to questions relating to the perception and critical analysis of the status of women in Africa. Notwithstanding his male gender status, in his rather original approach, Lopes lends women a revolutionary voice with which they address and search for solutions to their problems themselves. <![CDATA[<b>Afrikaans Onbeperk - die lewens-bydrae van Patrick J. Petersen</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2008000200014&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Born in Kinshasa, Congo, on 12 September 1937, but a national of Congo (Brazzaville), Henri Lopes is one of those African writers who, were not only educated but also lived in Europe where a certain portion of their literary work was produced. Being a politician and writer, one can easily glean, through Lopes' works, a complete picture of despotic postcolonial mismanagement of political affairs coupled with a dire dearth of humanism. Literary works such as Tribaliques (Tribaliks, 1971), La nouvelle Romance (The New Romance, 1976), Sans tam-tam (Without Drum, 1 977), Le Pleurer-Rire (The Crying-Laughter, 1982) and Sur l'autre ríve (On the Other Shore, 1 992) depict a particular worldview as well as an understanding of the overarching reality of a young Africa that had just attained political independence. However, while Lopes' works decry the shortcomings of Africa's postcolonial ruling class, it is important to note that the author appears to pay equal attention to questions relating to the perception and critical analysis of the status of women in Africa. Notwithstanding his male gender status, in his rather original approach, Lopes lends women a revolutionary voice with which they address and search for solutions to their problems themselves. <![CDATA[<b>Bernard Odendaal in gesprek met Charl-Pierre Naudé</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2008000200015&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Born in Kinshasa, Congo, on 12 September 1937, but a national of Congo (Brazzaville), Henri Lopes is one of those African writers who, were not only educated but also lived in Europe where a certain portion of their literary work was produced. Being a politician and writer, one can easily glean, through Lopes' works, a complete picture of despotic postcolonial mismanagement of political affairs coupled with a dire dearth of humanism. Literary works such as Tribaliques (Tribaliks, 1971), La nouvelle Romance (The New Romance, 1976), Sans tam-tam (Without Drum, 1 977), Le Pleurer-Rire (The Crying-Laughter, 1982) and Sur l'autre ríve (On the Other Shore, 1 992) depict a particular worldview as well as an understanding of the overarching reality of a young Africa that had just attained political independence. However, while Lopes' works decry the shortcomings of Africa's postcolonial ruling class, it is important to note that the author appears to pay equal attention to questions relating to the perception and critical analysis of the status of women in Africa. Notwithstanding his male gender status, in his rather original approach, Lopes lends women a revolutionary voice with which they address and search for solutions to their problems themselves.