n Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies - Two bad-time stories and a song of hope

Volume 23, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0258-2279
  • E-ISSN: 2219-8237



Using three fairly recently published South African texts - David B. Coplan's (1994); A.H.M. Scholtz's (1995) in its English translation, (2000) and Mongane (Wally) Serote's (1994) - this essay looks at the role such texts can play to give public expression to the voices of formerly silenced communities. The essay contends that the deep fissures in South African society require intense efforts in order to make those isolated from one another mutually intelligible. All South Africans need to broaden their cultural vocabularies. This is where texts such as novels and those containing the oral art of neglected communities can function as 'translations', and have profound social importance. It can be predicted that rehistoricising writings and culturally recontextualising teaching practices will continue to be required in this country, but also texts that contain the vision of a shared South African future.

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