n English in Africa - "The affections of a man of feeling in the midst of the wilderness" : François Le Vaillant on the South African frontier
Travels into the Interior of Africa via the Cape of Good Hope, François Le Vaillant : review

Volume 36, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0376-8902



Concluding his Introduction to the first volume of this welcome new translation of Le Vaillant's , Ian Glenn declares: ''Le Vaillant is much more our contemporary than Schreiner or many later writers seem to be'' (lxiii). Earlier Glenn sums up the double disadvantage that has for decades militated against the proper recognition of Le Vaillant's importance in our literary traditions: ''Right-wing settler ideology disqualifies Le Vaillant as meddling creole Frenchman, or presents him [.. .] as simple adventurer and naturalist, while a later generation of anti-colonialist discourse critics is happy to present him in the right-wing's simplified, politically censored version [Glenn is referring particularly to the Library of Parliament's of 1973] to prove that there was only one mode of colonial Africanist discourse'' (lix) - a mode only and obviously Eurocentric to the core.

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