n Scrutiny2 - Parents, children and

Volume 11, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0041-5359


Njabulo Ndebele has made an important distinction between spectacle and the ordinary. Meaning can easily be read off spectacle, which, like a wrestling match, involves a conflict between stock figures. The ordinary resists being read. The distinction between spectacle and the ordinary corresponds in Ndebele's creative imagination to a distinction between childhood and adulthood. In the collection of short stories, <I>Fools</I>, childhood is a realm of as yet undefined potential, before one must adopt an adult mask. Ndebele's interest, however, is not in childhood as an ideal condition but in the process whereby a boy becomes a man. How can the boy adopt an effective masculine mask and yet preserve into adulthood the potential associated with childhood? The first two stories in the collection concern inner resources (the potential of childhood). The next two concern role models (adult masks, true and false). And the final story, `Fools'', concerns learning to see beneath the masks of others.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error