Theses and Dissertations (Literature, Language and Media)

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    "So, what are you?": analysing erasure, shame and (mis) appropriation of coloured narratives in South Africa through social media
    (2018) Khan, Jamil Farouk
    This study examines how Coloured people are constructing Colouredness and by implication, themselves through the Facebook web series, Coloured Mentality.Coloured identities have been a very uncomfortable part of South African race politics since colonialism and have carried a range of stereotypes and myths with them. Despite being constructed as monolithic and essential, Coloured identities have long undergone processes of creolisation under conditions of brutality to continue making and remaking themselves as political landscapes change. To explore how Colouredness is being constructed, this research employed critical discourse analysis to evaluate its relationships with history, blackness in post-Apartheid South Africa, language, culture and privilege. In particular, much of the sense making around Colouredness operates through a discourse of origin exemplified by the question: Where do we come from? Through the lens of creolisation theory, this research reveals Colouredness to be introspective in that Coloured identities are constantly negotiating possibilities for change and impossibilities of historical ways of identification that compete with each other for relevance. Coloured identities are sweeping through archives of information to inform a new way of telling their stories.Tensions and contestations within Colouredness are central to their making and remaking, as identities are made sense of through changing discourses which serve as a gateway to social change
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    " To see another person's face... to touch another person's hand": bodies and intimate relations in the fiction of Marlene Van Niekerk
    (2014-06-20) Buxbaum, Lara
    Marlene van Niekerk is an original and virtuouso writer who has been lauded both locally and internationally. Although Van Niekerk’s works have aroused considerable critical attention, analysis has thus far focused mainly on the individual novels. Furthermore, the importance of bodies in her writing has been neglected. In this thesis I attempt to correct that critical occlusion by analysing bodies and intimate relations in Van Niekerk’s three novels, Triomf (1994/1999), Agaat (2004/2006) and Memorandum (2006). Corporeality is emphasized in the interactions between characters; in fact it seems that any kind of understanding is mediated, facilitated or impeded through the body. I adopt Elizabeth Grosz’s explanation of embodied subjectivity which avoids what she might term the Cartesian, monist or essentialist fallacy of embodiment (1994). The first chapter presents an overview of the existing literature on Van Niekerk and theories of bodies. In Chapter Two I propose that any consideration of spatiality in the novel must also take into account corporeality. With reference to apartheid spatial discourse and the recurring cartographic motifs, I argue that all of the protagonists articulate the desire for a nurturing environment. Chapter Three explores the relationship between narrative and body fragments in order to determine whether remembering (or re-membering) can prove salutary. I consider how intimate relationships are implicated in working through the embodied experience of trauma and whether recognition might provide an alternative narrative of healing to the confessional mode. I inquire whether, in the absence of a coherent narrative and healed body, there might prove something liberating in celebrating the potential of the fragment. Relations of looking are the focus of Chapter Four where I investigate whether reciprocity is possible. Chapter Five objects to allegorical readings of the incest and sexual relations which forecloses more nuanced readings. Furthermore I maintain that some of these encounters be read as rape. Triomf and Agaat subvert “the rape script” thus raising difficult questions about the nature of complicity, intimacy and power. The final chapter illustrates the manner in which intimacy is affected by the imminence of death. I consider the extent to which the bodywork entailed in caring for a dying person alters relationships and explore the changes in metaphors of embodiment employed by the dying person. In this manner I hope to illuminate hitherto unexplored similarities in these three novels which make for a richer appreciation of Van Niekerk’s oeuvre as well as encourage new ways of reading embodiment and intimacy . Key Words: Marlene van Niekerk, Bodies, Intimacy, Triomf, Agaat, Memorandum, Embodied Subjectivity, Spatiality, Rape, Dying, Voyeurism, Fragments, Trauma.
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    "Murder alla siciliana" - representations of the Sicilian "exotic other" in translation
    (2012-08-16) Siniscalchi, Natasha Joan
    The different ways in which the translators of Camilleri’s La Gita a Tindari have (consciously or unconsciously) used the translation procedures outlined by Vinay and Darbelnet are analysed in this study in an attempt to identify instances of foreignisation and/or domestication in the English, French and Spanish Target Texts (TTs). The translation of Camilleri’s very Sicilian/Sicilianised work involves much decision-making concerning Italian/Sicilian cultural and linguistic aspects which both characterise the Montalbano series and render it arguably inaccessible to those with little or no Italian/Sicilian Source Culture familiarity. This study is a comparative analysis revolving around the use of the translation procedures outlined by Canadian scholars Vinay and Darbelnet in the English, French and Spanish translations of Camilleri’s La Gita a Tindari and the foreignising and/or domesticating effects the use of these strategies has in relation to the rendition of Source Culture and Source Language elements in translation. The analytical model used in the study is a descriptive and comparative one based on an approach to translation studies which is both quantitative andpara-textual analyses conducted herein, this study presents conclusions in respect of the overall foreignised and/or domesticated feel of the English, French and Spanish Target Texts in relation to the depiction of Sicily and Montalbano as “exotic others”, or “localised others”. qualitative. On the basis of the findings drawn from the micro-textual and
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    "... as far as words can give:" Romantic poetry as displaced mystical experience in William Wordsworth's Prelude
    (2011-11-28) Kallenbach, Bradley Dean
    This dissertation investigates the ways in which a broad and perennial problem – ‘the problem of dualism’ - is approached by three areas of inquiry, namely, English Romanticism, mysticism and contemporary studies of consciousness. By comparative analysis of key passages in Coleridge’s Biographia Literaria, Huxley’s survey of mystical traditions in the Perennial Philosophy and work by contemporary philosopher Colin McGinn on the ‘mind-body problem,’ I explain how each discipline proposes an ideal state of ‘synthesis’ or ‘coalescence’ between the subjective and objective as a solution to ‘the problem of dualism.’ In turn, each discipline discerns a faculty or means towards such a synthesis. These are the ‘Imagination,’ ‘Third Eye,’ and ‘Bridging Principle’ respectively. Thus, this dissertation has three additional aims. First, I argue that the Romantic ‘Imagination’ and mystical ‘Third Eye’ faculty are conceptually similar in an attempt to show that certain Romantic poets (primarily Wordsworth, Coleridge and Shelley) sought access to a super-sensuous realm via the ‘Imagination.’ However, seminal texts such as Coleridge’s Biographia, Shelley’s Defence of Poetry and Huxley’s Perennial Philosophy imply that the Romantic poet, unlike the mystic, is thwarted from voluntary and veridical access to these realms: the Imagination reaches an impassable threshold which the mystical ‘Third Eye’ traverses. This condition, coupled with an inability to convey mystical experience in language with greater acuity, I argue, may account for the presence of melancholy in key Romantic works such as Wordsworth’s Prelude and Immortality Ode. I thus seek to enhance our understanding of the critical commonplace referred to as “Romantic melancholy.” Second, I aim to illustrate this view by analysis of key passages in Wordsworth’s Prelude and Immortality Ode. Finally, I aim to show that the early Coleridgean understanding of ‘the problem of dualism’ as highlighted in the Biographia can be further elucidated by contemporary theories of consciousness on the ‘mind-body’ problem.
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    "The art of visible speech": infernal and purgatorial figurations in Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities
    (2010-08-03) Fanucchi, Sonia
    Abstract This dissertation is a study of the Dickensian imagination, focussing on the power of Dickens’s symbolism in Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities. Although Dickens believed himself to be a realist, this thesis explores a particular way in which his narrative style departs from realism as it came to be formulated by George Eliot and Gustave Flaubert. I argue that Dickens’s symbolism, intuitive and even chaotic as it seems, is informed by his exposure to works of allegory through reading and performance. Thus he evokes allegorical patterns of Dante, Bunyan and the Medieval Morality tradition to infuse his depiction of reality with a transcendent life. This gives it a greater dramatic intensity which effects a turn towards allegory. In a critical, evaluative study of the two novels, the dissertation foregrounds the relationship between the real and the allegorical strands of Dickens’s narrative. This is an artistic question but it is bound up with an ideological enquiry into the connection that Dickens makes between the secular and the religious. The balance between these two poles of Dickens’s vision differs in each novel but it is at its most effective in Great Expectations where the allegorical dimension arises seamlessly out of the material.
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    'African discourses' : the old and the new in post-apartheid isiZulu literature and South African black television dramas
    (2009-02-02T11:38:06Z) Mhlambi, Innocentia Jabulisile
    ABSTARCT This thesis sets out to explore the problematic perceptions regarding African indigenous language literature. The general view regarding this literature is that it is immature, irrelevant school-market driven and shows no artistic complexities and ingenuity.1 These disparaging remarks resonated persistently after the first democratic elections in 1994. Both local and international critics expected marked shifts in post-apartheid isiZulu literary productions because factors that hampered its development have been removed. The dominant Western and postcolonial critical approaches from which these critics articulated their views, operated on assumptions that failed to look at the role and centrality of the broader concerns usually covered by this literature. Barber (1994: 3) points out that these Western and postcolonial critical approaches, block a properly historical localized understanding of any scene of colonial and postindependence literary production in Africa. Instead it selects and overemphasized one sliver of literary and cultural production…and this is experience’. Furthermore it is the contention of this thesis that these critics used critical tools that are fundamentally mismatched for the types of narratives with which isiZulu literature and African-language literatures in general are engaged. It is the view of the author of this thesis that if a new set of critical tools are used, a paradigm shift may result which allows for revisiting creative conceptualisations involved in the production of these literatures. The primary aim of this thesis is to read post-apartheid isiZulu novels and the black television dramas using theoretical tenets postulated by Karin Barber. Barber’s research on African everyday culture is the key epistemological and cosmological framework with which to study post-apartheid literary and film productions that narrate the everyday life experiences of ordinary South Africans. The basic assumption is that orality which is the maximal point of reference for 1 See Mpahlele, 1992; Kunene, D. P. 1992 and 1994; Kunene, M. 1976 and 1991; and Chapman, 1996 any African work of imagination continues to thrive in black everyday popular culture as manifest in both print and broadcast media. The first part of this thesis deals with the use of oral genres in print media. Six novels are selected to explore the uses of proverbs, folktale motifs and naming as strategies for reading post-apartheid contemporary South African society. The thesis proceeds from an analysis of what these oral forms aim to achieve in the post-apartheid context. It is argued that through these oral verbal art forms the narratives transpose the traditional episteme and re-inscribe it for modern contemporary African society, where traditional morality is made to continue to shape and animate contemporary morality. The second section deals with the implications of some of these traditional epistemologies in broadcast media texts. Four post-apartheid black television dramas are selected. With Ifa LakwaMthethwa and Hlala Kwabafileyo, the thesis, demonstrates how these films position the middle-class as a solution to post-apartheid leadership challenges. The discussion of Gaz’ Lam and Yizo Yizo demonstrates the nature of orality, where oral texts are seen to be endlessly recycling similar themes in different media forms. The emphasis is on how renditions of texts always bring in new elements and topical issues, fresh and precise photographic capturing of key moments in society. In view of the nature of Barber’s theoretical model and that of isiZulu fiction and film, this thesis argues that it is the most appropriate to use for the analysis of Africanlanguages literatures. Barber’s theoretical model has intertextual links with the Black Film theoretical traditions in the Diaspora and the Third Cinema in Africa. These black film traditions, like Barber’s model, centralise the black experience, everyday culture and orality as the basic reference for African work of imagination and aesthetics.
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    "Distinctly African ": the representation of Africans in City Press.
    (2008-06-10T12:13:33Z) Gongo, Kuselwa
    This study examines the representation of Africans by fellow Africans in a South African Sunday paper, City Press, after the paper changed its motto from ‘The People's Paper’ to ‘Distinctly African’ in October 2004. This editorial repositioning of City Press coincided with some of the tenets of the African Renaissance and African nationalism. The representation of Africa in the media, both outside and inside the continent, has been problematic for centuries. This study examines whether the claim by City Press, of a representation that is “Distinctly African” is achieved or refuted. This is done through analysing the way in which Africa, Africans, and African issues are framed and represented over a period of two years. In analysing these representations of Africa, Africans and African issues, the study looks at whether or not the way in which City Press represents Africa conforms to the ideals of the African Renaissance and African nationalism.
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    "100 papers": an anthology of flash fiction and prose poetry with a theoretical postscript
    (2008-05-30T07:24:40Z) Jobson, Liesl Karen
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    ‘The Old Iron Cooking Pot of Europe’ Storytelling, Sleuthing and Neo-colonialism in the Botswana novels of Alexander McCall Smith
    (2006-11-02T12:27:25Z) Finnegan, Lesley
    In this study I will interrogate some of the issues and contradictions raised by Alexander McCall Smith’s Botswana novels. These texts feature a black African woman protagonist in a developing society, and have achieved huge popular and commercial success, but they are written by a white European man. I will examine briefly whether the books can be considered as ‘African Literature,’ and how the author has negotiated the interface between history and literature to convince readers and critics in ‘the West’ that he is portraying ‘the real Africa.’ I will investigate the strategies used by the author to create this ‘authentic’, ‘traditional’ effect, how he writes convincingly as, about and on behalf of women, and the use he makes of the detective fiction mode. Ultimately I will consider whether these novels represent a restorative ‘writing back’ or whether they constitute a continuing appropriation of African history, culture and identity, a further re-invention of Africa by and for ‘the West’.
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    "Time has run out - period". Myth and history in Serote's long poems
    (1990-02-06T06:43:39Z) Frielick, Stanley