French Studies in Southern Africa - Volume 2014, Issue 44, 2014
Volumes & issues
Volume 2014, Issue 44, 2014
Author Catherine Du ToitSource: French Studies in Southern Africa 2014, pp 3 –31 (2014)More Less
Bitterkomix is a controversial underground comic in Afrikaans. This article explores the importance, in translation, of understanding the social and cultural context of the source language in order to capture the essential meaning and impact of the original text in its translation. In the case of the translation of Bitterkomix into French, the translator had to bear in mind the position and function of the language in the broader scope of Afrikaans protest literature and, consequently, make certain decisions with regard to his own perception of the role of the translator as bringing the text to the reader (or the reader to the text) in the terms of Schleiermacher. Furthermore, the article explores specific themes that occur in the Bitterkomix texts and how their interpretation may influence strategies and considerations that relate specifically to the translation of comics. The importance of stylistic differences and their influence on translation are explored. Other issues that are examined include the translation of names, intertextual references and retranslation. The article calls into question the widely accepted notion that the translator should always translate into his first language, particularly with regard to minority languages.
Author Gilles GlacetSource: French Studies in Southern Africa 2014, pp 32 –48 (2014)More Less
In his first published novel, Comment faire l'amour avec un nègre sans se fatiguer (1985), Dany Laferrière fights against history and writer's block by revisiting, using, and abusing the common places of the relationship between the white woman and the black man. The writing is blatantly presented via a sexual act - the encounter of the black male with the white female - and is of jouissance, which, through multiple voices, makes the female a bearer of history. Thus, along with the story, history writes itself on the blank page, this being possible only because, as Balzac once wrote to Madame Hanska, woman and paper are both white matter that can bear anything. The woman's whiteness is restrictive; she has to be as white as the paper, and as enduring. Everything is possible with paper, and woman, just like paper, becomes the place of all promises. The question is however not about the domination of the white woman, but rather about defeating inhibition through her. As such she is the way to vanquish the page blanche, at once the blank page (writer's block) and the inhibiting white literature of the Western world. The Nègre, the ghostwriter, now gets to write in his own name.
Author Orphee GoreSource: French Studies in Southern Africa 2014, pp 49 –67 (2014)More Less
In this article the relation to the real in the writing of Le Clézio is analysed in phenomenological and psychoanalytic terms, both of which are crucial to an understanding of the human imaginary. Drawing primarily on Le Procès verbal, Le Livre des fuites, Désert and Le Chercheur d'or, it is argued that reality, which presents itself as the primordial matrix of leclézian writing, can be seen to derive from a dual structure which in a way conditions fictional representation. If the real object is founded in the lived environment, it is endowed with psycho-sensory modes in which, at the level of the descriptive, the sensory and emotional become fused, amounting to a paradox that underscores the problematic nature of the author's relation to the real. The referential function that Le Clézio presents us with appears, however, to relate far more to the psychic and subjective oriented image-referent than to the physical or somatic object. As a result, the reader gains entry, not to reality, but to its illusion, having moved from a presentation (description) to a re-presentation, in other words, the "appearance-as-phenomenon" of the object in question.
Author Yao Louis KonanSource: French Studies in Southern Africa 2014, pp 68 –88 (2014)More Less
In the debate about the reconfiguration of the African novel and African writing, the processes of orality have been presented as amongst the most fundamental indicators, if not actual paradigms, of its on-going renewal. By virtue of its nature and mode of organisation, prime factors in the de-structuration of the text, orality comes to constitute the foundation of a fragmentary writing. Through the layered encoding of the readable elements of this orality we encounter a fracturing of narrative procedures, a rupturing of the text into different filaments, the implosion of the written page. In this way orality has the effect of undermining the novel, depriving it of its elementary forms in order to contaminate it. In substantiating these conceptions of orality, the present article shows how African authors proceed from a postmodern logic in which, unlike the thematic representation of the traditional novel, the novel is semiotically represented in terms of a society fundamentally characterized by extra-literary forms of heterogeneity, mobility and an aesthetic of instantaneity.
Author Eric LeveelSource: French Studies in Southern Africa 2014, pp 89 –100 (2014)More Less
This article focuses on Simone de Beauvoir's relationship with London before and after World War II. It compares three of her visits to the British capital - 1933, 1947, and 1951 - with two to Berlin in 1934 and 1948. Simone de Beauvoir herself draws parallels between these two major European cities in her memoirs and correspondence. What comes to light in reading and deciphering Simone de Beauvoir's feelings and perceptions is her personal development, her sense of happiness and of History. The three visits to London should be understood as genuine border crossings in the way she sees herself in the world and the manner in which she negotiates the ever present idea of death after 1945. To use literary comparisons, one witnesses the transition from a naive "Mrs Dalloway" in the 1930s to a realistic and grateful "Charles Ryder" in the 1940s. Berlin in 1948 serves a reminder of the meaning of utter destruction, as opposed to the life she had experienced there in 1934 and the renascent London of 1947 and 1951. London, which has not entirely lost its pre-war charm and dignity, stands as strong as it can as a symbol of life whereas defeated and devastated Berlin epitomizes death and nothingness.
Author Annabelle MarieSource: French Studies in Southern Africa 2014, pp 101 –116 (2014)More Less
In postcolonial francophone literature, the interaction between oral literature (mainly through tales) and written literature (mainly through novels) goes well beyond recreating the past memory, which are the different types of literary traditions that francophone writers have encountered. Well-established writers from Central Africa and the French Antilles (such as Patrice Nganang, Alain Mabanckou or Patrice Chamoiseau) end up creating a type of hybrid literature, in which the catalyst often tends to be the animal, which is seen as an accelerator for the processes of hybridisation. But what happens when these processes are being described from a feminine point of view? In order to probe this question, we will analyze two novels by Mauritian writer Ananda Devi, in which the metamorphosis into an animal is prominently being played out: Moi, L'interdite and La vie de Joséphin le fou. One wonders if the transformation of a subaltern subject into an animal is not a transposition of Devi's own need to transform into a woman-writer, a process she only manages to achieve by distancing herself from her male mentors.
Author Naomi MorganSource: French Studies in Southern Africa 2014, pp 117 –131 (2014)More Less
L'Africain is the Le Clézio text which most resembles a biography (of his father, Raoul), as well as containing autobiographical elements. Dedicated to a "doctor without borders", L'Africain also contains a portrait of Simone Le Clézio, the author's mother, whose life story is fictionalized in Ritournelle de la faim. In both L'Africain and Onitsha, a novel inspired by the same events, Simone Le Clézio is shown as adapting effortlessly to life in Africa. Yet she is not only absent from the title of L'Africain, she is erased from the author's family tree through his admission to a protracted dream of having a black mother. The article aims, firstly, to illustrate the author's reinvention of the circumstances of his conception and birth, an important theme in his oeuvre. Secondly, by means of a hermeneutic reading of those passages dedicated to Simone Le Clézio, to produce an abridged biography of a woman who protected her children throughout the war years in Europe and who seems to have been assigned the same role during her second African sojourn. In this sense, the detailed description of the excessive force used on a female scorpion becomes more than a mere anecdote. Ultimately, the article aims to rehabilitate a woman whose Africanness was more than skin deep.
Le choc des imaginaires dans Les Soleils des indépendances d'Ahmadou Kourouma et L'année maigre d'Alhassane Ag BailleAuthor Mouhamedoul NiangSource: French Studies in Southern Africa 2014, pp 132 –156 (2014)More Less
With regard to situations of intercultural contact the literature of Sub-Saharan francophone Africa embodies imaginaries that are both symbiotic and disjunctive. Its representation of the encounter between cultural identities draws on their respective characteristics highlighting discords and discrepancies. The present article shows how, in Ahmadou Kourouma's Les Soleils des indépendances and Alhassane Ag Baille's L'année maigre, the logic of identity of the Nation-State and ethnicity is being confronted. The mimesis of identity gains in richness and complexity through the exploitation of the symbolism of identity papers and the totemic. The article analyses the reception of these symbols of identity in the two novels and how they come to transcend conceptions of identity founded on notions of the Republic or Nation-State.
L'écriture autobiographique comme herméneutique du soi dans les contextes interculturels : J.M.G. Le Clézio, Ken Bugul et Amélie NothombAuthor Elisabeth SnymanSource: French Studies in Southern Africa 2014, pp 157 –176 (2014)More Less
This article considers three autobiographical and autofictional texts, Ken Bugul's Le baobab fou (1996), Amélie Nothomb's Stupeur et tremblements (1999), and J.M.G. Le Clézio's L'Africain (2004) as a hermeneutics of the self in an intercultural context. How do these literary narrations contribute to our own understanding of the challenges of intercultural exchanges? A close reading of the texts in the light of the hermeneutical theories of Hans-Georg Gadamer and Paul Ricoeur brings to the surface the dialectics of the self and the other when the narrators are immersed in a culture different to their own. Vince Marotta's idea of an intercultural subject, open to the other and embracing a hybrid and fluid identity is also explored. Three questions are asked: what were the preconceptions about the other culture held by the protagonists before their arrival in the foreign country, how did the protagonists experience their first encounter with the other and how did this experience of a different culture change their understanding of themselves and of the other? The conclusion of the article draws attention to the reader's own comprehension of interculturality.
Le roman d'apprentissage d'après Le Clézio : quête, sensations et sentiment moral dans Le Chercheur d'orAuthor Alexia VassilatosSource: French Studies in Southern Africa 2014, pp 177 –198 (2014)More Less
J.M.G Le Clézio's Le Chercheur d'or (1993) seems, at first glance, to belong to the adventure novel genre. A closer reading, however, reveals that the text has a polyphonic quality in that narrative genres, historical layers and mythical references (personal and other) come together to weave an unexpectedly complex tale of coming of age. This article examines the notion that the main protagonist's personal journey (and his utopic quest) revolves around the concept of moral sentiment as primarily emerging from the senses, a key concern in Le Clézio's writing from the 1980's onwards. The analysis demonstrates that, as is so often the case for Le Clézio's young characters, Alexis' body works as a receptacle through which meaning has to pass first before it is harnessed in his quest for greater understanding - the treasure hunt being, ultimately, a search for meaning. Textually, this is achieved through the evocation of the protagonist's experience of the world by way of sensation in a style that is so original that it can only be situated between genres, more specifically between poetry and prose.
Author Robert YennahSource: French Studies in Southern Africa 2014, pp 199 –222 (2014)More Less
This paper seeks to establish that weighing, measuring and calculating - gestures associated with the physical - are present in the conceptual world of Prévost. The protagonists of Manon Lescaut have a system of calibration by which they weigh, measure and even calculate their actions: Des Grieux for love, and Manon for pleasure. A study of the "Author's note" and the profession of faith of the protagonists enables us to identify the basic elements in the scale of values for the construction of instruments by which Des Grieux and Manon weigh and gauge their actions in relation to a standard measure: happiness. We find that for Prévost, this human, fundamental and universal value consists in the moral order of the soul; for Des Grieux, it is love, conceived as a state of mind, in his relation with Manon, which is intellectually reassuring; while for Manon, it is pleasure, accessible by the flesh. If, in the physical world, weights and measures against a standard are used to elicit specific information for taking the most relevant and useful decisions on certain realities, the same goes for the social concepts studied in this paper, for which Des Grieux and Manon, interestingly, have their own scales of value and calibration system.