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n Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies - Die literariteit van die sogenaamde "verhalende element" in tradisionele heroïese Sothopoësie - 'n intertekstuele ondersoek : research article
The literariness of the so-called "narrative element" in traditional heroic Sotho poetry - an intertextual analysis
This article focuses on the "literariness" of the so-called narrative lines that feature prominently in traditional Sotho heroic poetry, better known asdithoko. By means of some intertextual references it has been illustratedthat these lines do not merely convey historical detail by means of "ordinaryinformative" language. The recalling of historical events, is rathercharacterised by a reconstruction of activities in a poetic context, based oncertain referential codes dominated by a specific cultural tradition.<br>The poetic nature of these lines is not only created by the use of wellknownpoetic devices such as imagery and rhythm, but also by theselective use of allusion which defamiliarizes communicative languageusage. By alluding to historical actions, the traditional poet attempts tocreate a specific aesthetic convention rather than a mere factual one. Realevents in these narrative lines are often camouflaged by defamiliarizedlanguage and the presentation of fictional creations. The analysis of a fewexamples from dithoko that are related to certain historical events clearly indicates that these narrative lines should be evaluated against thebackground of specific literary conventions and literary codes.
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