Tydskrif vir Letterkunde https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl <p>The&nbsp;Tydskrif vir Letterkunde (TL)&nbsp;is a peer-reviewed scholarly journal, published twice yearly by the <a href="http://www.letterkunde.up.ac.za/">Tydskrif vir Letterkunde Association</a>. The journal publishes peer-reviewed articles, overviews, review articles, reviews, commentaries on African Literature and Literary Reviews in Afrikaans, Dutch, English and French.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> en-US jacomien.vanniekerk@up.ac.za (Dr Jacomien van Niekerk) nadine@assaf.org.za (Nadine Wubbeling) Wed, 28 Mar 2018 13:19:57 +0000 OJS http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss 60 Modernities and our inner Africas https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/3476 <p>.</p> Breyten Breytenbach ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/3476 Mon, 19 Mar 2018 14:07:36 +0000 Véronique Tadjo: Is there hope beyond the divisions in contemporary Africa? https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/1646 <p>This article proposes a reading of three texts <em>The Blind Kingdom</em> (1990), <em>Queen Pokou. Concerto for a sacrifice</em> (2004) and <em>Far from my Father</em> (2010) written by the Ivorian author Véronique Tadjo, in order to examine the author's representation of, and reflexion on separation and division, be it within a nation, amongst groups, or in the heart of a family. In Tadjo's novelistic universe, such divisions often require the intervention of a female protagonist, whose own existence is deeply influenced by tensions and frictions between two opposing camps. I shall argue that the agency of these protagonists is never futile and may even point to a way to go beyond the original divisions. Tadjo's representation of division in these three texts goes beyond generic boundaries to open up a rich variety of perspectives on the problems she deals with. I shall demonstrate how the author draws on various genres such as poetry, the African folktale, the novel, as well as autofiction in order to engage the reader in a profound reflexion on the current state and future of the African continent.</p> Elisabeth Snyman ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/1646 Mon, 19 Mar 2018 14:11:00 +0000 Revisiting trauma and homo religiosus in selected texts by Mongo Beti and Véronique Tadjo https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/1582 <p>This paper locates religion within the literary narratives of traumatogenic experiences such as war and genocide as depicted in the novels <em>The Poor Christ of Bomba</em> by Mongo Beti and Véronique Tadjo's <em>The Shadows of Imana: Travels in the Heart of Rwanda.</em> In spite of evident reference to the role played by religion in traumatic and traumatising encounters, it features simply as a footnote to the ethnic tensions that underpin these encounters. Drawing on the theoretical work of Kurtz (2014) and other scholars as well as casting a glance at anticolonial and postcolonial Francophone literatures, this paper argues that trauma in modern postcolonial Francophone literature is ubiquitous. It reveals itself in the post-independence contradictions and injustices as depicted by modern francophone authors and thinkers whose subject matter is largely dominated by such motifs as corruption, war, violence, insanity, rape, poverty, disillusionment, which all accommodate a direct challenge to religion. The absence of <em>religiosity</em> in trauma literature suggests a reversal of the socio-historical stereotype that frames Africans as highly religious, and whose opposition to religion is a result of enlightenment through education.</p> Shelton Muvuti ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/1582 Mon, 19 Mar 2018 14:13:18 +0000 Of dirt, disinfection and purgation: Discursive construction of state violence in selected contemporary Zimbabwean literature https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/1548 <p>This paper examines post-independent Zimbabwean literary narratives which engage with how the ruling ZANU-PF government frames dissenting voices as constituting dirt, filth and undesirability. Making use of Achille Mbembe's postulations on the "vulgarity of power" and Kenneth W. Harrow's readings of the politics of dirt, the central thesis of this paper is that the troping of dirt and state sponsored violence are closely related to the themes of memory and belonging. Literary works by writers such as Chistopher Mlalazi, NoViolet Bulawayo and John Eppel become self-effacing speech acts that are involved in reimagining and revisioning our understanding of power dynamics and how this affects human and social experiences.</p> Gibson Ncube ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/1548 Mon, 19 Mar 2018 14:15:36 +0000 The writing of Arthur Fula: modernity, language, place and religion https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/3014 <p class="BodyA">Arthur Fula's debut novel <em>Jôhannie giet die beeld </em>(Lit: Johannesburg moulds the graven image) was well received in the beginning of 1954 but has in recent years been largely forgotten. The novel was promoted as the first "by a Bantu in Afrikaans", a designation that differentiated him, a third language speaker, from the typical Afrikaans writer who was ordinarily a&nbsp; white, first language speaker. The novel registers, in the tradition of the ˜'Jim-comes-to Jo'burg novels', the migration of black characters to the urban areas with the persistent struggle between indigenous traditions and the presence of an unknown, even threatening Western modernity. In his second novel <em>Met erbarming, O Here </em>(With Compassion, Oh Lord, 1957) Fula made peace with the permanency of urban black Africans and their aspirations. This essay introduces the emergence of the autodidact Fula's authorship amidst a period of profound change and adaptation in South Africa during the 1950s, tracing his personal history, the circumstances of his writing and choice of language, and the reception of his debut novel.</p> Hein Willemse ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/3014 Mon, 19 Mar 2018 14:20:24 +0000 Narrating the past: reflections on recent Black Afrikaans writing https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/1584 <p>A return to the past has been a dominant feature of recent Afrikaans writing. This is evident in the many novels re-visiting the Anglo-Boer War or recounting incidents from the apartheid past. The approaches include the debunking of myths and a nostalgic longing for the good old days. Whether this is true of the small body of Black Afrikaans writing, given its ambivalent relationship to the canon, needs to be investigated. A number of texts that was published recently either had a clear autobiographical background or emanated from the desire and imperative to "tell our own stories from our communities". This paper explores the way that the past is narrated in a number of selected texts by i.a. Fatima Osman, Simon Bruinders, Ronelda Kamfer and Valda Jansen.&nbsp;In the case of the texts by the firstmentioned authors the narrative is about survival, determination and the triumph of the human spirit in the face of a dehumanising system like apartheid. In the latter texts one finds elements of dystopia and disillusionment with the past as an ydill. It also gives an unsentimental view of the state of mind and events playing out in communities in the present. The texts furthermore grapples with textual strategies to represent history and the inability at times to comprehend the past.</p> Steward van Wyk ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/1584 Mon, 19 Mar 2018 14:24:31 +0000 La traversée de l’Atlantique ou la mort ? Une réflexion critique sur la notion d’échange https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/1571 <p><strong>Crossing the Atlantic or dying? Critical r</strong><strong>eflexion</strong><strong> on the concept of exchange</strong></p> <p>This paper investigates the validity of the concept of cultural exchange through a few African novels, comparing different perspectives of journeys. While some African writers attempt to depict their most immediate environment, making themselves appear as nationalist as possible, one can notice however that more and more other African writers choose to encapsulate their literary universe in changing geographic settings: Their writing depicts the mobility of characters aiming at reaching new frontiers. These new spaces, always to be discovered, provide African writers with a platform to depict subjectivities that cognitively enrich themselves on contact with newer and different world visions. However, the crossing into the other world (on the other bank of the river) seems not always to offer a space for mutual cultural exchange; it might be fatal and lead to identity assassination, a journey of death.</p> Patrick Kabeya Mwepu ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/1571 Mon, 19 Mar 2018 14:30:05 +0000 Indigeneity in modernity. The cases of Kgebetli Moele and Niq Mhlongo https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/3038 <p>The study of South African English literature written by black people in the postapartheid period has focused, among others, on the so-called Hillbrow novels of Phaswane Mpe and Niq Mhlongo, and narratives such as Kgebetli Moele's <em>Book of the Dead</em>&nbsp;(2009) set in Pretoria. A number of studies show how the fiction of these writers handles black concerns that some critics believe to have replaced a thematic preoccupation with apartheid, as soon as political freedom was attained in 1994. However, adequate analyses are yet to be made of works produced by some of these black writers in their more rounded scrutiny of the first decade of democracy, apart from what one may describe as an indigenous/traditional weaning from preoccupation with the theme of apartheid. This study intends to fill this gap, as well as examine how such a richer social commentary is refracted in its imaginative critique of South African democratic life beyond its first decade of existence.Â&nbsp; I consider Mhlongo's novels <em>Dog Eat Dog </em>(2004) and <em>After Tears</em> (2007); together with Moele's narratives reflecting on the same epoch <em>Room 207 </em>(2006) and <em>The Book of the Dead</em> (2009). For the portrayal of black lives after ten years of democracy, I unpack the discursive content of Mhlongo's and Moele's novels<em> Way Back Home</em> (2013) and <em>Untitled </em>(2013) respectively. I probe new ways in which these postapartheid writers critique the new living conditions of blacks in their novelistic discourses. I argue that their evolving approaches interrogate literary imaginaries, presumed modernities and visions on socio-political freedom of a postapartheid South Africa, in ways deserving critical attention. Â&nbsp;I demonstrate how Moele and Mhlongo in their novels progressively assert a self-determining indigeneity in a postapartheid modernity unfolding in the context of some pertinent discursive views around ideas such as colourblindness and transnationalism. I show how the discourses of the author's novels enable a comparison both their individual handling of the concepts of persisting institutional racism and the hegemonic silencing of white privilege; and distinguishable ways in which each of the two authors grapples with such issues in their fiction depicting black conditions in the first decade of South African democratic rule, differently from the way they do with portrayals of the socio-economic challenges faced by black people beyond the first ten years of South African democracy.</p> Lesibana Rafapa ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/3038 Fri, 02 Feb 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Images of woman and the search for happiness in Cynthia Jele's Happiness is a four letter word https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/1552 <p>Over the years, African ‘feminist’ scholars have expressed reservations about embracing feminism as an analytical framework for theorizing issues that affect African women. This is particularly because in many African societies, feminism has been perceived as a negative influence that seeks to tear the cultural fabric and value systems of African communities. Some scholars such as Clenora Hudson-Weems, Chikenje Ogunyemi, Tiamoyo Karenga and Chimbuko Tembo contend that feminism as developed by Western scholars is incapable of addressing context-specific concerns of African women. As a result, they developed womanism as an alternative framework for analysing the realities of women in African cultures. Womanism is premised on the view that African women need an Afrocentric theory that can adequately deal with their specific struggles. Drawing from ideas that have been developed by womanist scholars, this article critically interrogates the portrayal of women in Cynthia Jele’s Happiness is a four-letter word (2010), with particular focus on the choices that they make in love relationships, marriage and motherhood. My argument is that Jele’s text affirms the womanist view that African women exist within a specific cultural context that shapes their needs, aspirations and choices in a different way.</p> Rodwell Makombe ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/1552 Fri, 26 Jan 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Representation of racial and sexual 'others' in Afrikaans popular romantic fiction by Sophia Kapp https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/3480 <p style="margin: 0cm; margin-bottom: .0001pt; background: white;"><span class="Hyperlink1"><span style="color: blue;" lang="EN-US">This article provides a feminist critique of representation, analysing the way sexual and racial others are represented in the work of the Afrikaans popular romantic fiction writer Sophia Kapp. Comparing her first three novels to the latest one, the article points to a development in her writing and tracks the changes it has undergone over the course of the almost ten years of Kapp's writing career. Starting off with exclusively white and heterosexual characters in her first novels, her latest novel includes a number of black and homosexual </span></span><span class="None"><span style="color: blue;" lang="EN-US">secondary </span></span><span class="Hyperlink1"><span style="color: blue;" lang="EN-US">characters. However, while these characters appear to be equal to the white hero and heroine, an analysis of their representation shows that they are rendered in such a way that they support the white heterosexual marriage as the unquestionable standard, and it becomes clear that the inclusion of sexual and racial others appears for the most part to be in the function of "surrogate and enabler" for the white heterosexual marriage ideal. </span></span></p> Martina Vitackova ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/3480 Tue, 20 Mar 2018 12:06:01 +0000 Contemporary Zimbabwean popular music in the context of adversities https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/1583 <p>Contemporary Zimbabwean popular and urban genres of music namely, urban grooves and its variant Zimdancehall emerged and continue to exist at a time Zimbabwe is grappling with socio-economic and political adversities. The music is part of crucial artistic forms and dissent, hence for the ordinary Zimbabweans, it plays a significant role, detailing their experiences and survival strategies and influencing their patterns of entertainment and daily cultural practises. This article which is informed by popular culture theorists such as Karin Barber (1987) and John Fiske (1989) makes a textual analysis of Winky D's (2015) songs "Disappear", "Copyrights" and "Survivor" to examine the power of the songs in exploring the survival strategies employed by ordinary Zimbabweans in dealing with their experiences. The paper examines how the music is a source of power that fosters a response resonating with a postcolonial urban youth cultural activism seeking to empower the ordinary Zimbabweans to autonomously transcend their adversities and take control of their destinies in a country where the ruling elite are failing to improve the nation's socio-economic conditions.</p> Doreen Rumbidzai Tivenga ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/1583 Tue, 20 Mar 2018 12:16:18 +0000 Sol T. Plaatje's paremiological quest: a common humanity in cultural diversity https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/1941 <p>Having written and compiled from memory, over 700 Setswana proverbs when he was briefly resident in London, around the 1900s, Sol T. Plaatje exhibited unusual ethnographic knowledge and remarkable, creative translation skills in diaspora-like circumstances.&nbsp; While most literary researchers attest to those achievements, few have been the theories that account sufficiently for Plaatje's multilingual proverb renditions. The view propounded here is that Plaatje's paremiological enterprise was probably never only an exercise of his polyglot abilities. Rather his quest appears to have been to assert the cultural similarities and convergences between African and European people's histories.&nbsp; His socio-political beliefs propelled deep pride over his Setswana identity and became the driving force for highlighting the human bonds among nations of the North and the South. For Plaatje, seeing the overlaps and equivalences in and through the proverbs of the Dutch, English, French, Germans and the Batswana peoples, firstly validated orality as the bedrock of modern literary expression.&nbsp; Secondly, the relationship of the two seemed to recapitulate the communicative connections among people and their languages, across time and space. Lastly, the paper makes the point that Plaatje's search for unity in the cultural diversity as exhibited in his 1916 <em>Diane tsa Setswana</em> collection and the 1924 <em>A</em> <em>Sechuana Reade</em><em>r</em> stories<strong><em>,</em></strong> provides instructive lessons that present-day South Africa would ill afford to ignore considering the social cohesion challenges the nation faces.</p> Khekheti Makhudu ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/1941 Fri, 26 Jan 2018 00:00:00 +0000 R. E. van der Ross (1921-2017) https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/4620 Hein Willemse ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/4620 Mon, 05 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Keorapetse Kgotsitsile (1938-2018) https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/4622 Hein Willemse ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/4622 Mon, 05 Mar 2018 09:06:35 +0000 'n ope brief aan Dorian Gray en 'n peiling van die Afrikaanse resensiebedryf https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/4384 <p>The young Afrikaans poet, Ruan Fourie, published his debut volume of poetry, '<em>n ope brief aan Dorian Gray</em>, in 2017. Fourie's debut received predominantly negative reviews from Afrikaans critics. A review by Afrikaans critic, Tom Gouws, was particularly destructive and transgressed acceptable professional standards. This example of destructive criticism is scrutinized in relation to similar transgressions in Afrikaans book reviews. In addition, a comparable Irish case study and theoretical viewpoints by Van Rees and Janssen are considered to provide a nuanced perspective on current practices in Afrikaans literary criticism. The article also focuses on the responses of Odendaal and Spies to Fourie's poetry to provide a critical and independent opinion on aspects such as publishing decisions, mentorship, manuscript development and editorial mentorship. The last part of the article consists of a substantiated evaluation of '<em>n ope brief aan Dorian Gray</em>. It is concluded that despite evidence of creative talent, there are too many shortcomings due to questionable editorial mentorship and impetuous publishing decisions.</p> Neil Cochrane ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/4384 Mon, 19 Mar 2018 14:39:25 +0000 Skollie: One man's struggle to survive by telling stories (John W. Fredericks) https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/4377 Keyan G. Tomaselli ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/4377 Thu, 22 Mar 2018 12:22:08 +0000 A Gap in the Hedge (Johan Vlok Louw) https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/4284 Andy Carolin ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/4284 Thu, 22 Mar 2018 12:24:25 +0000 Iziganeko zesizwe: Occasional Poems (S. E. K. Mqhayi) https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/4273 Thulani Mkhize ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/4273 Thu, 22 Mar 2018 12:27:26 +0000 Oorlog en terpentyn (Stefan Hertmans) https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/4282 Tycho Maas ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/4282 Thu, 22 Mar 2018 12:31:14 +0000 Groen soos die hemel daarbo (Eben Venter) https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/4374 Stefan Van Zyl ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/4374 Thu, 22 Mar 2018 12:33:23 +0000 Die wêreld van Charlie Oeng (Etienne van Heerden) https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/4322 Adéle Nel ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/4322 Thu, 22 Mar 2018 12:38:09 +0000 Die diepblou see (Francois Loots) https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/4285 Reinhardt Fourie ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/4285 Thu, 22 Mar 2018 12:41:16 +0000 Die derde spoel (S.J. Naudé) https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/4278 Francois Smith ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/4278 Thu, 22 Mar 2018 12:45:01 +0000 Nou, hier (Corné Coetzee) https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/4281 Bibi Burger ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/4281 Thu, 22 Mar 2018 12:57:30 +0000 Radbraak (Jolyn Phillips) https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/4283 Alfred Schaffer ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/4283 Tue, 20 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Vuurvas (Carel Antonissen) https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/4373 Cas Wepener ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/4373 Thu, 22 Mar 2018 13:01:28 +0000 Voor ek my kom kry (Pirow Bekker) https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/4375 Amanda Lourens ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/4375 Thu, 22 Mar 2018 13:03:46 +0000 Nuwe stemme 6 (Bibi Slippers en Charl-Pierre Naudé) https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/4378 Yves T'Sjoen ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/4378 Thu, 22 Mar 2018 13:06:39 +0000 Uittogboek (Johan Myburg) https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/4380 Alwyn Roux ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/4380 Thu, 22 Mar 2018 13:10:18 +0000 Krap uit die see (Fourie Botha) https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/4381 Louise Viljoen ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/4381 Thu, 22 Mar 2018 13:13:19 +0000 Skepelinge (Karel Schoeman) https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/4376 Chris van der Merwe ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/4376 Thu, 22 Mar 2018 13:16:21 +0000 Die reis gaan inwaarts: Die kuns van sterwe in kreatiewe werke van Karel Schoeman (Cas Wepener) https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/4279 Johann Rossouw ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl/article/view/4279 Thu, 22 Mar 2018 13:19:41 +0000