n Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies - A philosophical interpretation of the significance of oral forms in I. Mabasa's novel (1999)

Volume 29, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0258-2279
  • E-ISSN: 2219-8237



The article critically analyses the use of Shona oral art forms in I. Mabasa's novel "Mapenzi" ("Mad people" / "Foolish people"). It departs from the realisation that the writer identifies with Shona people's oral experiences in the form of songs, "bembera" (satiric poetry) and folktales among others. These oral art forms provide the means by which the writer overcomes both self-censorship and real or imagined state censorship. The article advances the argument that Mabasa uses the Shona people's oral art forms in a manner that is ideologically and pedagogically empowering. This is consistent with the value thrust of Shona people's epistemological assumptions. The article comes to the conclusion that Mabasa's vision in the novel "Mapenzi" maintains the line between tradition and continuity.

Die artikel analiseer die gebruik van Shona mondelinge kunsvorms in I. Mabasa se roman "Mapenzi" ("Mal mense" / "Dwase persone"), krities. Dit volg uit die besef dat die skrywer met die Shonas se mondelinge ervarings, in die vorm van onder andere liedjies, "bembera" (satiriese poësie) en volksliedjies identifiseer. Hierdie mondelinge kunsvorms verskaf die wyse waarop die skrywer selfsensorskap sowel as werklike of verbeelde staatsensorskap oorkom. Die artikel argumenteer dat Mabasa die Shonas se mondelinge kunsvorms gebruik op 'n wyse wat ideologies en pedagogies bemagtigend is. Dit stem ooreen met die kragtige waarde van die Shonas se epistemologiese aannames. Die gevolgtrekking waartoe gekom word, is dat Mabesa se visie in die roman, "Mapenzi", die lyn tussen tradisie en voortgang handhaaf.

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