Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Tydskrif vir Letterkunde]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=0041-476X20110002&lang=en vol. 48 num. 2 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<B><I>Tydskrif vir Letterkunde</I></B>: <B>a continuous record of 75 years</B>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2011000200001&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en <![CDATA[<b>75 years of <i>Tydskrif vir Letterkunde</i> - a provisional exploration</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2011000200002&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Tydskrif vir Letterkunde was founded in 1936 as the Jaarboek van die Afrikaanse Skrywerskring (Yearbook of the Afrikaans Writers' Circle). This article explores the history of the Skrywerskring and its journal, particularly its establishment and early history, as well as its surrounding political and literary environment. Primary research for this study was undertaken in the archives of the National Afrikaans Literary Museum and Research Centre in Bloemfontein and the documentary holdings on the Afrikaanse Skrywerskring at the Universities of Stellenbosch and South Africa. In this study, particular attention is paid to the so-called North-South divide in Afrikaans literature, the political milieu, the writers' organisation's attitude to censorship, its withdrawal from PEN International and lastly, a brief overview of the role of its six editors since 1936. In its initial years the Skrywerskring demonstrated a proximity to the political powers of the day, suggesting a lack of critical distance. With the demise of the Skrywerskring during the last decade of the 20th century the journal almost floundered. Since 2003 the journal was fundamentally repositioned to reflect not only Afrikaans Literature but also literatures from the rest of the African continent and African diaspora. <![CDATA[<b>Intertextuality and modernist complexity in Henriette Grové's Linda Joubert novels</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2011000200003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Henriette Grové debuted in 1947 as an author of popular stories in women's magazines under the pseudonym Linda Joubert. Meulenhof se mense and Die laat lente appeared in the nineteen-fifties in Sarie Marais and were published in book form in the early nineteen-sixties. Although the author expressed her opposition to an evaluation of these popular romantic tales as part of her literary oeuvre, the two novels reveal a surprising complexity and density as regards both content and narrative structure which strongly link them in theme and technique to her recognized literary oeuvre, so that the two novels emerge as worthy literary texts in their own right after all, while they clearly function within the conventions of the genre of the romance novel. The novels also reveal an impressive range of sophisticated literary allusions which further characterize them as modernist. <![CDATA[<b>Urbanisation, South African literatures and the cultural text</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2011000200004&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Despite many efforts to publish comprehensive literary histories of South or Southern Africa in recent years, few studies exist in which a thorough comparative study is undertaken between two or more South African literatures. This article wants to provide a practical example of such a study by comparing the urbanisation of Afrikaners in Afrikaans literature with that of black people as seen in English and Zulu literature. The statement made by Ampie Coetzee that comparative studies should take place within the framework of discursive formations is one of the fundamental starting points of this study. Maaike Meijer's concept of the "cultural text" is further employed as a theoretical instrument. The identification of repeating sets of representation is central to the demarcation of a "cultural text about urbanisation" in Afrikaans, English and Zulu literature respectively. The cultural text forms the basis from which a valid comparative study can be embarked upon, and the results of the research have important implications for further comparative studies but also literary historiography. <![CDATA[<b>Hybrid self-representation and performance in Breytenbach's travelogues</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2011000200005&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article focuses on the hybrid self-representation and liminal self-positioning of Breyten Breytenbach as presented in his two travelogues, Return to Paradise (1993) and Dog Heart (1998). Firstly, the form of travel writing is shown to be a suitable genre for the manifestation of a nomadic or 'travelling' subject. Secondly, his liminal self-positioning toward Afrikaner society reflects the problem of identity in post-apartheid South Africa, as well as the writer's performance of a future agency for rehabilitating the collective self within a new South African community. Breytenbach is seen to manifest his cultural identity on the one hand, while attempting to position this identity within the multicultural society on the other. <![CDATA[<b>On the dark age before the linguistic turn: what J. M. Coetzee saw in Willem Termeer and what he did about it</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2011000200006&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The South African Nobel Prize winner, J. M. Coetzee has a particular connection to the Netherlands. For instance, he had reviewed Dutch literature for the New York Times (the reviews were later included in a book called Stranger Shores: essays 1986-1999) and he translated and compiled an anthology of Dutch poetry (Landscape with Rowers, 2004) for the English readership. Moreover, his books are frequently published in their Dutch translation prior to their official English releases. In 1976, Coetzee translated a novel by Marcelus Emants Een nagelaten bekentenis (1894), published in English as A Posthumous Confession. Parallel to this translation work, Coetzee also worked on his second novel In the Heart of the Country (1977). This paper is devoted to a detective-like tracing of reflections that Coetzee's close reading of the Dutch novelist might have left in his own book. Why did Coetzee in the first place decide to translate Emants' novel? What was its appeal that attracted him so much? What was Coetzee's reading of Emants back in the 1970s? <![CDATA[<b>Instances of Bessie Head's distinctive feminism, womanism and Africanness in her novels</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2011000200007&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Bessie Head was one of the Drum writers of the 1950s. As critics such as Huma Ibrahim have indicated it was only after her death in 1986 that she was included in discussions on the Drum generation. The result of her prior exclusion has been the double marginalization of Head's literary contribution, as one of the overlooked black South African writers of the 1950s and the lack of critical acclaim of her as an individual author. For this reason, she is one of the black South African writers who should consciously be given prominence today. This article utilizes an analysis of Head's novels not attempted so far. It is difficult to interrogate Head's work fruitfully, unless questions are addressed to whether she approaches her imaginative writing as an Africanist, a feminist or just as a woman. It will be argued that her fiction highlights the plight of the socially marginalized in eccentric and seminal ways and that it bears the potential to enrich debates on Africanism, feminism and womanism. Conclusions on how the complexities of Head's psyche can be beneficially used to enrich a more judicious reading will be drawn from evidence gathered from her novels. <![CDATA[<b>Feminism and the politics of identity in Ingrid de Kok's <i>Familiar Ground</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2011000200008&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Through an analysis of selected representative poems from Ingrid de Kok's Familiar Ground, this article examines the role played by feminist poetry in the quest to address gender-related issues as well as to contribute constructively to South Africa's liberation from patriarchal apartheid. The article further argues that feminist writers desire to (re)negotiate the space within which they can (re)construct and articulate their identities as women and mothers, and that in such a context the politics of identity cannot be detached from other aspects within the struggle for socio-political and economic emancipation. Thus characteristics of apartheid oppression are contrasted with the patriarchal domination opposed by feminist writers. <![CDATA[<b>Remembering the short stories of Yvonne Vera</b>: <b>a postcolonial and feminist reading of <i>Why Don't You Carve Other Animals</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2011000200009&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The Zimbabwean author Yvonne Vera is one of the most important writers to emerge from the African continent over the last two decades. Although she has received widespread critical acclaim as well as academic scrutiny, analyses of her work have mostly focused on her novels. This article attempts to redress this scholarly imbalance by offering a close textual analysis of Why Don't You Carve Other Animals? through a critical lens of postcolonial and feminist theory. In these stories Vera articulates the internal thoughts of her characters in order to explore the way that oppressed people negotiate the fact of their oppression. It is particularly the female characters' reflections that reveal the complexity of the position occupied by colonised women and the sophistication of their attempts to address the layered marginalisation to which they are subjected. Vera shows that, for them, an unproblematic participation in the nationalist movement for liberating Zimbabwe from colonial oppression is simply not an option. The article explores the specifically gendered expectations and obstacles that shape the female characters' struggles in the Zimbabwean context. <![CDATA[<b>Exorcising the ghost of the past</b>: <b>the abandonment of obsession with apartheid in Mpe's <i>Welcome to Our Hillbrow</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2011000200010&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article examines how Phaswane Mpe's post-apartheid novel, Welcome to Our Hillbrow (2000), responds to Njabulo Ndebele's idea of "rediscovering the ordinary". This is probed through analyses of themes, characterization and style. It will be argued that, through Welcome to Our Hillbrow, Mpe makes a call for introspection to the black South African populace of the post-apartheid era, so that instead of simplistically continuing to blame social ills on (the legacy of) apartheid, they examine their own attitudes, thoughts, perceptions and feelings regarding socio-political problems like corruption, crime, xenophobia and HIV/ AIDS. In this respect Mpe stands apart from other black South African writers, such as Zakes Mda, who have produced their writings in the post-apartheid period. Ndebele's theory denounces the "spectacular" way of writing, which he sees as characterising the literary output of black South African writers during the apartheid era. However, this perspective has relevance beyond the apartheid era, in as far as black South African fiction writers should not deny society its natural wholeness of existence by not exploring diverse themes. <![CDATA[<b>Not just a pretty face</b>: <b>women as storytellers and subjects in the folktales of Northern Sudan</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2011000200011&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Like fairytales in many other cultures, the folktales of Northern Sudan are not only reflective of the deepest aspects of culture, but also major formative influences on it. However, a central and often overlooked feature of these stories is the role women played as narrators and performers, and the related centrality of female figures within the narrative. In most of the popular stories, the heroine is the one who has all the action, and is not just the pretty girl who awaits her prince. In fact she is self-sufficient, and it is the handsome and valiant prince who figures as an extra. The heroine is always intelligent, resourceful, wily and at times even brutal, but is she who saves the day and performs the needed tricks to save lives and conquer evil. It is only then that she is rewarded with the handsome prince as her prize. It looks like the perfect revenge of women against a patriarchal society which denies them such roles. <![CDATA[<b>In the wings of the ethnography stage</b>: <b>Michel Leiris' scientific pursuit and existential quest</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2011000200012&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This paper analyses the attitude of a French surrealist writer and ethnographer, Michel Leiris, who accompanied the expedition led by Marcel Griaule, from Dakar to Djibouti (1931-33), as the archivist-secretary of this official "mission". In fact, Leiris participated actively in the ethnographic activities of the team. He kept a detailed account and recorded the methods used to acquire the objects collected. These methods were not always honest, but Leiris attempts to exonerate the team by pointing out that they were acting for the advancement of science and knowledge. Later, he ascribed ethnography an important role: to revalorise cultures which had been unjustly underrated. Leiris expected that his participation in the expedition would also allow him to encounter a different reality and meet the Other, hence to reduce his introspective tendencies and existential malaise. Realising these expectations were unfulfilled, he chose for his book the title Phantom Africa, which denied "full existence" to that continent. However, his account is of great interest to us because it reveals the mentality and attitude of an early 20th century surrealist ethnographer. <![CDATA[<B>Les “démons crachés” de l’autre République by Serge Armand Zanzala</B>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2011000200013&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Published in 2007 by L'Harmattan, the novel Les "démons crachés" de l'autre République by Serge Armand Zanzala challenges its readers to rediscover the period between 1993 and 2002. During that period, which lasted almost a decade, Congo-Brazzaville, the writer's country of origin, was ravaged by violent wars. In his novel, Zanzala has attempted to reconstruct the real facts of this conflict by depicting characters that embody an inhuman and homicidal aristocracy. Through Congo-Brazzaville, one can also easily discover Congo-Kinshasa as the pan Congolese spirit is being expressed throughout the novel. This paper aims to demonstrate several ways in which and reasons why the writer takes position and uses fiction to restore the history of his country. Literary fiction has been perceived as an instrument par excellence to combat the abuse of political or military power. Furthermore, it will be demonstrated how and why the use of violence by politicians is depicted throughout the novel as cannibalism. The paper will finally analyse the way Zanzala uses the fabulous as a remedy to cure the barbaric acts orchestrated by politicians against civilians. <![CDATA[<b>The inaugural plaatje festival, mahikeng</b>: <b>a watershed event</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2011000200014&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Published in 2007 by L'Harmattan, the novel Les "démons crachés" de l'autre République by Serge Armand Zanzala challenges its readers to rediscover the period between 1993 and 2002. During that period, which lasted almost a decade, Congo-Brazzaville, the writer's country of origin, was ravaged by violent wars. In his novel, Zanzala has attempted to reconstruct the real facts of this conflict by depicting characters that embody an inhuman and homicidal aristocracy. Through Congo-Brazzaville, one can also easily discover Congo-Kinshasa as the pan Congolese spirit is being expressed throughout the novel. This paper aims to demonstrate several ways in which and reasons why the writer takes position and uses fiction to restore the history of his country. Literary fiction has been perceived as an instrument par excellence to combat the abuse of political or military power. Furthermore, it will be demonstrated how and why the use of violence by politicians is depicted throughout the novel as cannibalism. The paper will finally analyse the way Zanzala uses the fabulous as a remedy to cure the barbaric acts orchestrated by politicians against civilians. <![CDATA[<b>Édouard Glissant (1928-2011)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2011000200015&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Published in 2007 by L'Harmattan, the novel Les "démons crachés" de l'autre République by Serge Armand Zanzala challenges its readers to rediscover the period between 1993 and 2002. During that period, which lasted almost a decade, Congo-Brazzaville, the writer's country of origin, was ravaged by violent wars. In his novel, Zanzala has attempted to reconstruct the real facts of this conflict by depicting characters that embody an inhuman and homicidal aristocracy. Through Congo-Brazzaville, one can also easily discover Congo-Kinshasa as the pan Congolese spirit is being expressed throughout the novel. This paper aims to demonstrate several ways in which and reasons why the writer takes position and uses fiction to restore the history of his country. Literary fiction has been perceived as an instrument par excellence to combat the abuse of political or military power. Furthermore, it will be demonstrated how and why the use of violence by politicians is depicted throughout the novel as cannibalism. The paper will finally analyse the way Zanzala uses the fabulous as a remedy to cure the barbaric acts orchestrated by politicians against civilians. <![CDATA[<b>Bon voyage, Monsieur Glissant!</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2011000200016&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Published in 2007 by L'Harmattan, the novel Les "démons crachés" de l'autre République by Serge Armand Zanzala challenges its readers to rediscover the period between 1993 and 2002. During that period, which lasted almost a decade, Congo-Brazzaville, the writer's country of origin, was ravaged by violent wars. In his novel, Zanzala has attempted to reconstruct the real facts of this conflict by depicting characters that embody an inhuman and homicidal aristocracy. Through Congo-Brazzaville, one can also easily discover Congo-Kinshasa as the pan Congolese spirit is being expressed throughout the novel. This paper aims to demonstrate several ways in which and reasons why the writer takes position and uses fiction to restore the history of his country. Literary fiction has been perceived as an instrument par excellence to combat the abuse of political or military power. Furthermore, it will be demonstrated how and why the use of violence by politicians is depicted throughout the novel as cannibalism. The paper will finally analyse the way Zanzala uses the fabulous as a remedy to cure the barbaric acts orchestrated by politicians against civilians. http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2011000200017&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en