Latin American Report - Volume 30, Issue 1, 2014
Volume 30, Issue 1, 2014
Time as a metaphysical dilemma : Jose Luis Borges' treatment of the nature of time in his selected worksAuthor Tukumbeje MposaSource: Latin American Report 30, pp 3 –10 (2014)More Less
The concept of time, which has been a major subject of study in various fields, defies a neat definition. Many scholars have failed to define it in a manner applicable to all fields. Generally, time can be defined as the unlimited continued progress of existence and events in the past, present and future, regarded as a whole. It is a measure in which events can be ordered from the past through the present into the future. Some schools of thought deny the existence of time. They argue that the present is undefined and indefinite; and the future has no reality except as present recollection. In some of his works, Jose Luis Borges (1899-1986) describes time in a linear manner, that is to say, that humans experience time as a series of present moments, one following the other. The past and the future both exist nowhere but in the human mind. Borges seems to agree with the notion that time is but a figment of the mind. In other stories, his perception of time is circular. Thus, the focus of the current article is on time, which is a metaphysical dilemma, and Borges' treatment of the nature of time in his selected works.
Source: Latin American Report 30, pp 11 –28 (2014)More Less
This article draws attention to the existence and emergence of a body of fictional works produced on Zimbabwe's Diaspora between the years from 2000 to 2014. It is the contention of the article that these literary works represent an emerging category within the general canon of Zimbabwean literature called Zimbabwean Diaspora literature. Through the application of existing conceptual and theoretical frameworks based on key characteristics of diasporic writings, the article concludes that Zimbabwean Diaspora literature is in its embryonic stage of development since it typically exhibits not only the common features attributed to diasporic writings, but it also possess the characteristic features often ascribed to a young diaspora. The article does not attempt to offer a rule of thumb definition of Zimbabwean Diaspora literature, for the simple reasons that Zimbabwean Diaspora literature is still very much in its infancy; it is a canon of literary works still growing steadily; still establishing its form, message, primary ideologies and identities. Thus, to offer a prescriptive or restrictive label to define the discourse is subjective and premature. It would be a travesty against the artistic enterprise as it only serves to stifle the creative imagination of the artist and to curtail the objective insights of the literary critic. In essence, therefore, the article seeks to draw attention to, rather than limit understanding of, this literary discourse called Zimbabwean Diaspora literature. However, there are features and characteristics exhibited by said literary discourse which have guided and informed the understanding of the article as to what constitutes Zimbabwean Diaspora literature.
Author Ephraim VhutuzaSource: Latin American Report 30, pp 29 –40 (2014)More Less
This article examines Stephen Chifunyise's calculated focus on the domestic spaces - the family, personal relationships and the psycho-sexual dilemmas at the expense of the wider national socio-economic and political context during a period in Zimbabwe that has come to be known as the "decade of crisis". Ignoring a plethora of social, economic and political challenges such as the collapse of a welfarist state, unprecedented inflation, political violence, sycophancy and corruption among others, the dramatist chooses to focus solely on the contradictions within the home and the family. The central question with which the article grapples is the ideological motivation behind this deliberate focus by the dramatist. Using Wall's (1989) theory of the dialogue of the deaf in conjunction with Macherey's (1978) theory of the "unsaid" in a text, the article argues that despite the author's calculated omission or silence on the socio-economic and political realities, the average intelligent reader is not only able to read into the dramatist's ideological position and motive but also the ugly reality that he is trying to cover up or hide from the reader.
Author Josephine MuganiwaSource: Latin American Report 30, pp 41 –48 (2014)More Less
This article analyses the portrayal of women by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1927-2014) in his collection of short stories, Strange pilgrims (1992). It consists of 12 stories and offers a variety of women in various roles.This helps to answer the question on whether Marquez is sympathetic towards women (housewives, prostitutes, clerks and fortune tellers to name a few). Does he dismiss them as victims? Are they villains? Are the women actively involved in influencing the course of their lives? How representative are they of the Latin American character?
Author Tyanai CharambaSource: Latin American Report 30, pp 49 –76 (2014)More Less
This article aims to establish a paradigm shift in the way Shona traditional culture perceives death and funeral proceedings and in the manner that literary creations that were published before Zimbabwe attained political independence in 1980, perceive the same aspects. The article will also establish that there has been a paradigm shift in the manner that literary creations which were published before independence and those that were published after independence treat death and funeral proceedings. Thus, the article will establish that Shona culture perceives death and funeral proceedings as painful but not as monstrous and fearsome. Although that is the case in Shona culture, those Zimbabweans of Shona expression who created literature before independence view death and funeral proceedings as both painful and monstrous. However, some literary creations, which were published after independence, treat death and funeral proceedings as neither painful nor fearsome. In fact, there is a tendency by writers of Shona expression who published literary works after independence, to treat death and funeral proceedings as if they are natural and normal occurrences. They at times depict them as if they are lucrative life experiences and proceedings. The article has been written on the understanding that the paradigm shift in the manner death and funeral proceedings are treated in literary creations is indicative of some metamorphosis that Shona culture is undergoing as politico-economic and socio-cultural conditions and circumstances change in relation to the changing eras of Zimbabwe's history.
The construction of the discourse of violence in liberation war films : the case of Catch a Fire (2006)Source: Latin American Report 30, pp 77 –84 (2014)More Less
This article seeks to unveil the construction of the discourse of violence in liberation war films. It uses a South African film that deals with the anti-apartheid war launched by Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) guerrillas. Violence is represented by the war. The article borrows from the input of psychologists such as Baumester, Polaschek, Whitehead and King, who have written on violence, with a view to analysing the psychological construction of violence. The article argues that violence does not just command negative readings in the film; rather violence is seen as ambivalent and necessary. The article argues that there is a connection between violence and the idea of nation. It is through violence that nations reinforce notions of heroism, patriotism, villainy, pride and honour. It reveals how violence creates a cohesive element that binds a nation together. The article also analyses the relationship between masculinity and violence with a view to pointing out how masculinity and violence are linked to the nation through the concepts of heroism and sacrifice.