Michael Chapman
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Southern African Literatures Contents
[ book list ]
SA Literature
  • Author's Preface

  • Map of Southern Africa

  • Countries of Southern Africa

  • A Note on Racial Terminology, Orthography and Conventions

  • A Note on Translated Works

  • Abbreviations/Acronyms

  • Acknowledgements



Writing Literary History in Southern Africa  

Part One        Oral Tradition: A Usable Past                                                   

Introduction to Part One                                                                       

Chapter 1            Bushman (San) Songs and Stories                                                 

                               Recovering voices: the Bleek and Lloyd Collection                                  

                               Mood Songs. !Kaha of the Kalahari                      

                               Creation myths, folk-tales, testimonies. ||Kabbo's Story

                               Bushman projects, Khoi projects. Draghoender's Lament

Chapter 2           African (Bantu) Songs, Stories, Praises                                    

                            Separatist church songs. The ‘Kamuzu' songs of Malawi                                   

                            Proverbs, orations, creation myths, folk-tales. Lydia umkaSetemba's recitations

                            An ‘African' aesthetic: a chief is a chief by the People                                               

                            The praise poem: a usable past? Shaka's court to the trade-union rally    

Part Two         Writing of European Settlement:  South Africa 1652-1910                                        

Introduction to Part Two                                                             

Chapter 1               Images of Africa, 1652-1820
                                Adamastor and the savage land
                                Dutch records and Afrikaner identity
                                British occupation. Barrow's travels, Lady Anne Barnard's letters                                       

Chapter 2              The Story of Frontier, 1820s-1870s
                                Settler opinion, trekker opinion.
                                The periodical press
                                Pringle's African Sketches (1834)
                                The 1820s and the liberal tradition
                                The Xhosa legacy from Ntsikana to Mandela                   


Chapter 3              Anglicisation and the Afrikaans Language Movements, 1875-1930
                                Popular sentiment. Du Toit, Preller, Langenhoven
                                Literary sensibility. Marais, Leipoldt, Totius                   

Chapter 4              The Story of the Colony. Fiction, 1880-
                                The heart of darkness from Rider Haggard to Wilbur Smith
                                Schreiner's colonial crisis
                                Blackburn's Bulalie comes to Joburg

Part Three     African or Colonial Literature: 1880s to l960s                   

 Introduction to Part Three                                                           

 Chapter 1            The Colonial Past in the Independent State
                                Ethnography and journalism in the Portuguese colonies                                                                                  African-language literature in the British colonies
                                Rhodesian, Counter-Rhodesian, Zimbabwean Fiction. Cripps. Lessing.                                                     Samkange
                                The Mambo Book of Zimbabwean Verse in English.Constructing a Tradition                                       

Chapter 2              Belonging and Belief in South Africa, 1910-1948.
                                Europe and Africa
                                From segregation to apartheid
                                Black's satire: the popular white voice
                                High art and social responsibility. Campbell.
                                Plomer. Van der Post
                                Tales of rural communities. Smith. Bosman. The plaasroman
                                Afrikaans, a literary language.
                                Poetry from Van Wyk Louw to Opperman                                       

  Chapter 3            Belonging and Belief in South Africa, 1910-1948.
                                Africa and Europe
                                Ubuntu. The case of Mqhayi
                                The early African literary elite. Popular alternatives.
                                Plaatje. Mofolo. Jordan. Shembe. The Lucky Stars
                                The ‘new African' and the old story: H. I. E.
                                Dhlomo. Vilakazi. Noni Jabavu                               

Chapter 4               Identity and the Apartheid State, 1948-1970
                                Retribalising the Bantu. The Freedom Charter
                                Poetry and liberal sensibility. Butler. Miler.
                                Novels against apartheid. Abrahams. Paton
                                Seeking a perspective. Jacobson. Early Gordimer
magazine and stories of city experience.
                                Themba. Mphahlele. King Kong
                                Black autobiography. Modisane. Mphahlele
                                The silent decade. Sestigers. Brutus, La Guma and
                                exile. Political testimony                            


Part Four          Commissioned by the Nation, Commissioned by
                           the Society. Independence, Post-Independence                    

Introduction to Part Four                                


Chapter 1      Malawi and Zambia: The Writer in the One-party State 
                        Banda and Kaunda  
                        Zambian humanism. Stories and journalism    
                        Zambian theatre. Dissent and development 
                        Malawian writers, censorship and the ‘university'
                           style. Poetry from Rubadiri to Mapanje  
                         Malawi's popular voice          


Chapter 2        Angola and Mozambique. National Ideals and
                           Pragmatic Realities                                                          

                         The generation of the 1950s. Neto, Jacinto,
                            Craveirinha, de Sousa, and others 
                          Poetry of combat, 1960-1975      
                          Storytelling and local speech. Vieira to Couto                 


Chapter 3       Zimbabwe: the Unified Nation or the Functioning
                        Rhodesia and Zimbabwe   
                        Chimurenga songs         
                        The legacy of war. Mungoshi, Marechera,
                        ‘Remaking the world'. Hove, Chinodya,
                         Theatre and the public sphere 
                        The Mugabe government                                     


Chapter 4          Namibia: Making a Literature                      
                        The ‘wild south-west' of colonial imagination
                        Namibian voices from Witbooi to Diescho           


Part Five     Writing in the Interregnum: South Africa, 1970-1995                                      

Introduction to Part Five                                     

Chapter 1         Black Consciousness and White Africans                  

                           New black poetry. Mtshali, Serote, Sepamla,


                Biko and Turner: recasting the white state               

                Poetry by white Africans. Livingstone,

                           Breytenbach and others                           


Chapter 2       The Black Theatre Model. Towards an Aesthetic of

                         South African Theatre                                

                           Black Consciousness and the popular play            

                           Minority and majority theatre. The performing

                                  arts councils to the worker play             

                           Mda and Fugard. Literary playwrights and the

                          black theatre model                                 

                 Sarafina!: the seriousness of popular response         


Chapter 3         The Story of Community: A Resilient Tradition         

                Seeking a community in Staffrider               

                Matshoba: the storyteller as teacher                

                Stories of the collective and isolated self. Tlali,

                           Kuzwayo, Gordimer, Aucamp, Ndebele and         others                                      

                Bessie Head: the telling of unexceptional tales           


Chapter 4           The Truth of Fiction and the Fiction of Truth:

                           Writing Novels in the Interregnum             

                     Gordimer, Coetzee and Soweto novels                    

                     Anxieties of influence and journalistic demands.

                              Ebersohn, Schoeman, Joubert, Miles,

                              Stockenström and others                        

                     Brink: the internationalism of the Afrikaner


                     The novel in a state of emergency       


Chapter 5           The State of Emergency, the New South Africa              

                Historical memory and the ‘apartheid era' 

                Poetry and prose in the 1980s: the high word to       the low mimetic. Cronin, Krog, Black

                              Afrikaans poets, Goosen                    

                Criticism and local challenges: The indigenised   intellectual. Feminism. Children's literature     

                The liberated zone: politics and polemics                  

                Southern African Literatures: literary history and civil society                                

Part Six      Further References                                    


                Literature and Historical/Cultural Events in Southern Africa                       

                  General Bibliographies                                  

                     i)            Bibliographies, dictionaries                         

                    ii)            Descriptive, thematic, critical, theoretical surveys                               

                   iii)            Fiction                                     

                   iv)            Poetry                             

                    v)            Drama                                     

                   vi)           Scholarly journals                                   

Individual Authors - notes on biography, works and criticism                         


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