Tydskrif vir Letterkunde https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/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) Thu, 30 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0000 OJS http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss 60 Child and youth protagonists in Habila’s Measuring Time and Dangor’s Bitter Fruit https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/1783 <p>Helon Habila’s <em>Measuring Time</em> and Achmat Dangor’s <em>Bitter Fruit</em> deploy child and youth protagonists to offer nuanced perspectives on contemporary nationhood in Nigeria and South Africa respectively, displacing the adult, and mostly male viewpoints that have dominated novelistic portrayals of postcolonial nationhood for decades. These protagonists are portrayed symbolically in the context of the biological family, which can be read in allegorical and metonymic ways to represent the nation as a social unit. This article explores the portrayal of these protagonists and their families for the ways in which they may reflect national anxieties in general, and the problems of recent socio-political transition in particular. It also highlights how the breakdown of the family, as well as the different pathways undertaken by characters may represent simultaneously dystopian and auspicious futures for Nigeria and South Africa.&nbsp;</p> Aghogho Akpome ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/1783 Thu, 30 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Belonging in Thuis and 7de Laan: a critical whiteness studies perspective https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/1885 <p>Within the South African and Belgian contexts, Public Service Television remains a key role player in the dissemination of ideas around national identity. Moreover, whiteness manifests as one aspect of national identity in both contexts and remains (to differing degrees) a normative construction. This article presents the findings of a controlled case comparison of a sample from two community soap operas (<em>7de Laan</em> and <em>Thuis</em>, broadcast by the South African (SABC) and Flemish (VRT) Public Service Broadcasters respectively) from the perspective of Critical Whiteness Studies. What my analysis sought to investigate was how the politics of belonging play out in these PSB narratives and the possible implications this holds for local as well as global discourses of whiteness and power in Public Service Media. The analysis revealed three rhetorical devices which function to maintain whiteness as hegemonic ideology in both texts despite the fact that they originate in disparate contexts.</p> Hannelie Marx Knoetze ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/1885 Thu, 30 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Experimenting with a new tragic model: Elechi Amadi’s Isiburu https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/4948 <p>Aristotle’s Poetics has remained one of the most resourceful reference materials to literary critics and theorists over the centuries from classical antiquity to contemporary times. However, in spite of its lofty status and acclaim the classical source material has also faced serious criticisms especially concerning certain unrealistic and vague postulations made in it about tragedy. The most challenged postulations are those relating to the status of the tragic hero, his flaw, the emotions of pity and fear, and catharsis. Some of these “problematic” areas constitute the crux of Elechi Amadi’s concern in “Gods and Tragic Heroes,” a polemical essay on which this study hinges. Re-examining some existing conversations on the subject and Amadi’s charges against Aristotle, the essay affirms that tragedy is a flexible literary form and that Amadi, amidst his evaluation of Aristotle’s enduring aesthetics, proposes a novel model in which hamartia and the emotional impacts of the hero’s fall on the audience are a function of an overarching supernatural activity in the tragic plot. Consequently, the essay appraises Isiburu as Amadi’s practical example of the proposed model.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Omeh Obasi Ngwoke ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/4948 Thu, 30 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0000 “We are his children”: de Landmanfamilie als erfgenaam van Adamastor https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/1987 <p>In <em>Die eerste lewe van Adamastor </em>(The first life of Adamastor, 1988) André Brink reinvented the giant Adamastor, introduced in 1572 with the publication of <em>Os Lusíadas, </em>the Portuguese epic by Luis de Camões. So fascinated was Brink by the Southern African monster, that he wanted to write more novels containing new personifications of Adamastor. <em>An Act of Terror </em>(1992) can be seen as his most prominent Adamastor novel. An addendum entitled “The Chronicle of the Landman Family: As told by Thomas Landman” was included in this novel. In this article, I focus on this chronicle and unravel the way in which Adamastor manifests himself in every character, because each figure bears some resemblances to the Adamastor that Brink recreated in T’kama, the protagonist in <em>Die eerste lewe van Adamastor </em>(1988). All the characters in the Landman family fight against a dominant entity, but they do it on their own terms. This article shows that Brink uses the Adamastor figure as a metaphor for conflict, but also for reconciliation and protection. Against the background of these characteristics, Adamastor also appears to be a personification of different ideological constructs and of the continent of Africa. Furthermore, Adamastor’s appearance is a key feature to understanding how ideology transforms the representation of historical knowledge in Brink’s novel.</p> Laura Engels ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/1987 Thu, 30 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Redreaming ways of seeing: Ben Okri’s intuitive creativity https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/2256 <p>Drawing on <em>A Way of Being Free </em>(1997) and <em>A Time for New Dreams</em> (2011) among other Okrian texts, this article is a discussion of the notion of redreaming ways of seeing through intuitive creativity. The argument is divided into three parts: the role of intuitive creativity; redreaming ways of seeing in <em>The Landscapes Within </em>(1981); and intuition or “the landscapes within”. The deployment of John Berger’s <em>Ways of Seeing </em>and Roland Barthes’s <em>Image, Music, Text </em>posits an Afro-Western worldview in which the title of Okri’s second novel effectively becomes a simulacrum for the lead character’s psyche that supplants character <em>per se,</em> so that the “landscapes within”—the psyche—becomes the eponymous hero of the tale. The contention is that the complex inner workings of the mind of the artist-protagonist, Omovo, is both the signifier and the signified. This is supported by analyses of an Okri poem and extracts from the novel. I argue that, in contrast to its inter-art variants, René Magritte’s 1935 <em>Le faux miroir </em>and <em>La clef des songes</em>, the novel invokes a neo-Platonic/Coleridgean concept of the “enlightening” eye as a correlative of Okri’s notion of the inward visionary quest of the dreaming “soul” “opening towards infinity”. The article concludes by briefly justifying the article’s claim that, in this novel, art deals with inner reality, with “the landscapes within”</p> Rosemary Gray ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/2256 Thu, 30 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Negotiating womanhood: the bird metaphor in Southern African folklore and rites of passage https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/2934 <p>In spite of its evident presence in Southern Africa’s rich cultural heritage, the bird metaphor has received surprisingly little attention. The cultural materials analysed in this article include children’s stories, songs, heroic poetry and ethnographic accounts of rites of passage. At first the data seems to suggest that bird symbolism could be interpreted in terms of a simple dual conception of gender identity. Some magical birds signify the prowess and authority of men. Others could be linked symbolically to the procreative powers of women. On further reflection, however, we identified a third category of more ambiguously gendered birds. It is contended that this additional bird type can be explained in terms of the female-male dialectic that shaped gender relations in small-scale societies. It is further proposed tentatively that the bird metaphor could have provided women with a symbolic means to negotiate their identity.</p> Jean-Marie Dederen, Jennifer Mokakabye ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/2934 Thu, 30 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Modern Swahili: an integration of Arabic culture into Swahili literature https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/1631 <p>Due to her geographical position, the African continent has for many centuries hosted visitors from other continents such as Asia and Europe. Such visitors came to Africa as explorers, missionaries, traders and colonialists. Over the years, the continent has played host to the Chinese, Portuguese, Persians, Indians, Arabs and Europeans. Arabs have had a particularly long history of interaction with East African people, and have therefore made a significant contribution to the development of the Swahili language. Swahili is an African native language of Bantu origin which had been in existence before the arrival of Arabs in East Africa. The long period of interaction between Arabs and the locals led to linguistic borrowing mainly from Arabic to Swahili. The presence of loanwords in Swahili is evidence of cultural interaction between the Swahili and Arabic people. The Arabic words are borrowed from diverse registers of the language. Hence, Swahili literature is loaded with Arabic cultural aspects through Arabic loanwords. Many literary works are examples of Swahili literature that contains such words. As a result, there is evidence of Swahili integrating Arabic culture in its literature, an aspect that this paper seeks to highlight.</p> Hanah Chaga Mwaliwa ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/1631 Thu, 30 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Abjection in Dambudzo Marechera's The House of Hunger https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/1884 <p>In a description of nationalist poems about “a golden age of black heroes; of myths and legends and sprites” (Marechera 74), the narrator of <em>The House of Hunger</em> (1978) observes that these themes are the “exposed veins dripping through the body of the poems.” In this article we extend this observation to argue that, metaphorically on display in Marechera’s novella itself, are the “exposed veins dripping through the body of the [text]” (74). The novella’s themes include colonialism, social destitution, violence, state-sanctioned oppression, identity struggles, poverty, dislocation, disillusionment and anger, all of which are appropriately imaged in Marechera’s visceral metaphor of the pain and violence implicit in the literary text. More specifically, corporeal imagery emphasises the unnamed narrator’s troubled existence, suffusing <em>The House of Hunger</em> in a manner that elicits disgust and horror, thus encouraging the reader’s affective response to the representation of the colonial condition. This article illuminates Marechera’s seeming obsession with corporeality by providing a postcolonial and psychoanalytic reading, focussing in particular on Julia Kristeva’s theory of abjection. Although critics have objected to reading African texts through the lens of psychoanalysis, the article sets out to address this concern, noting the importance of theorists like Frantz Fanon and Joshua D. Esty in justifying psychoanalytic readings of African literature, and drawing resonant parallels between Kristevan theory and Marechera’s perspective on the colonial condition of Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) in the 1970s.</p> Christopher Wayne, Bridget Grogan ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/1884 Thu, 30 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Land of cemetery: funereal images in the poetry of Musa Idris Okpanachi https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/1325 <p>This paper focuses on Musa Idris Okpanachi’s poetry: <em>The Eaters of the Living</em> (2007), <em>From the Margins of Paradise</em> (2012), and <em>Music of the Dead</em> (2016). Nigeria, even after the military had relinquished power over a decade ago, is still faced with the issues that provoked the trope of protest in much of the poetry published between the mid-eighties and late nineties. Okpanachi’s poetry revisits these issues, demonstrating that democracy has been no less horrifying than military despotism. Dark, haunting images of blood, corpses, and cemetery recur in all three collections, depicting the regularity of death in the nation. I argue that Okpanachi employs funereal imagery to comment on the state’s morbid relationship with its citizenry. The Nigerian state is represented as murderous, so death fulfills its political objective. I conclude that although Okpanachi articulates a cynical commentary on postcolonial Nigeria, he marshals his creative energies to illuminate the political moment of his time.</p> Uchechukwu Peter Umezurike ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/1325 Thu, 30 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Christo van Rensburg (1938–2018): akademikus van formaat https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/5489 <p>None</p> Heinrich Ohlhoff ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/5489 Thu, 30 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0000 'n Boer in beton: "Hierdie huis" deur Kleinboer https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/4766 <p>This review article is an attempt to interpret and evaluate the novel <em>Hierdie huis</em> within a specific context, namely that of urban writing. This is done first and foremost with reference to Afrikaans literature, but also in a wider context with reference to English South African literature (e.g. Ivan Vladislavic) and to relevant theories like that of the city dweller (<em>flâneur</em>) in the critical writings of Walter Benjamin. In recent Dutch literature several novels have been published (amongst others by Marc Reugebrink and Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer) that share certain motifs and strategies with Kleinboer’s trilogy and they are discussed in greater detail. In this article the focus is on this third novel in what ostensibly is a coherent trilogy or prose cycle and not primarily a rejection of the traditional Afrikaans farm novel as often is asserted by literary critics; in actual fact it is a creative renewal of this genre, although often in a parodical fashion. In conclusion this novel is described as typical of “metamodernism” in its quest for meaningful moral and philosophical “master” narratives, rejected in postmodernism. In this novel the main character recognizes The Other as a fellow human-being and his etymological quests stresses hybridity which implies that linguistic (or racial) purity is a farce. Postcolonial <em>métissage</em> is central in this novel and the conclusion is that the forming of new identities has seldom (or never) been described in Afrikaans literature as in this trilogy.</p> H. P. van Coller ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/4766 Thu, 30 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Under Glass (Claire Robertson) https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/4856 Dan Wylie ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/4856 Thu, 30 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Queer Africa 2 (Makhosazana Xaba and Karen Martin) https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/4858 Bibi Burger ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/4858 Thu, 30 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0000 The Keeper of the Kumm (Sylvia Vollenhoven) https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/5298 Diana Ferrus ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/5298 Thu, 30 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0000 The History of Intimacy (Gabeba Baderoon) https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/5420 Joan Hambidge ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/5420 Thu, 30 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Toen met een lijst van nu errond. Herman de Coninck Biografie (Thomas Eyskens) https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/5297 Wium van Zyl ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/5297 Thu, 30 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Van kant gemaak (Kris van Steenberge) https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/4744 Tycho Maas ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/4744 Thu, 30 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Die wêreld van die storie (Willie Burger) https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/5419 Alwyn Roux ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/5419 Thu, 30 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Dors (Marinda van Zyl) https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/5296 Adean van Dyk ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/5296 Thu, 30 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Alles begin met Anna (Annamari Coetser) https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/5393 Loraine Prinsloo ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/5393 Thu, 30 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Kroniek van Turf (Dolf van Niekerk) https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/4790 Adean van Dyk ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/4790 Thu, 30 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Die dag is bros en Sandton City Grootdoop (Wessel Pretorius) https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/5336 Andries Visagie ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/5336 Thu, 30 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Gesant van die mispels en In die stille agterkamer (Marlene van Niekerk) https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/5295 Henning Pieterse ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/5295 Thu, 30 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0000