n Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies - Writing back to colonialism, again : the novel and the 'new' resistance literary culture in post-2000 Zimbabwe : original research

Volume 36, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0258-2279
  • E-ISSN: 2219-8237



Some contemporary Zimbabwean literature demonstrates a discernible resistance thread. These literary works create fictional life-worlds in which the ambivalence of colonial land and economic injustices are exposed as potentially mutating and threatening the independent nation. In this way, such works validate 'nationalist' corrective measures through inserting a narrative that implicitly refers back to past colonial imbalances. In the choreographed discourses of national sovereignty that characterise the Third Chimurenga - epitomised by Mugabe's book - there are perceived dangers from infiltrating forces which pose a threat to the nation's sovereignty. Britain's refusal to fund land reform in Zimbabwe is viewed as an implicit declaration of that country's intention to derail the Zimbabwean people's movement towards total independence and the 'fast track land reform' of the Third Chimurenga. The anti-Britain campaign is inextricably linked to the land question. The cultural sphere (especially its literary, theatrical and musical dimensions) in Zimbabwe's recent past has been faced with the political urgency of (re)defining the land question. Literary texts such as Nyaradzo Mtizira's novel , theatre performances such as Christopher Mlalazi's 'Election Day' and musical compositions by the war veteran singer Dickson Chingaira are some of the artistic productions that reveal conflicting perspectives on the land and its significance in the people's search for self-determination and national identity. Using the example of Nyaradzo Mtizira's novel , this article argues that whilst many Zimbabwean writers published in the post-2000 period have attempted to imagine 'alternative' national identities, the text's anti-West thematic and aesthetic texture resonates with the state's post-2000 ideological grand narratives of the nation and can therefore be read as the newest form of resistance literature in Zimbabwe's postcolonial literary oeuvre.

Sommige kontemporêre Zimbabwiese literêre werke toon 'n duidelike versetstendens. Hierdie letterkundige werke skep fiktiewe wêrelde waarin die ambivalensie van koloniale grond- en ekonomiese onreg uitgelig word as potensieel muterende en bedreigende invloede op die onafhanklike nasie. Hierdie werke regverdig 'nasionalistiese' korrektiewe maatreëls deur 'n narratief wat implisiet terugverwys na koloniale wanbalanse van die verlede. In die gechoreografeerde diskoerse van nasionale sowereiniteit wat die Derde Chimurenga kenmerk en in te voeg wat verpersoonlik word deur Mugabe (2001) se boek - is daar vermeende gevare komende van infiltrerende magte wat 'n bedreiging vir die nasie se sowereiniteit inhou. Die kulturele sfeer (veral die letterkundige, teater- en musikale dimensies daarvan) in Zimbabwe se onlangse verlede het al 'n tyd lank te kampe met die polities dringende uitdaging om die grondvraagstuk te (her)definieer. Deur Nyaradzo Mtizira se roman as voorbeeld te gebruik, voer hierdie referaat aan dat, hoewel baie Zimbabwiese skrywers gepubliseer in die post-2000-tydperk gepoog het om 'alternatiewe' nasionale identiteite te bedink, die teks se anti-Westerse tematiese en estetiese tekstuur met die staat se ideologiese grootse narratiewe van die nasie post- 2000 resoneer en dat dit dus gelees kan word as die nuutste vorm van versetletterkunde in Zimbabwe se postkoloniale letterkunde-oeuvre.

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