Invention or reflection? - tradition and orality in the works of Bessie Head
Castrillon, Gloria Ledger
This dissertation examines the work of Bessie Head with a view to sophisticating prevailing understandings of her texts which tend to concentrate on Head's place in a tradition of African women writers. Current critical works emphasise selected aspects, of Head's biography and assume her presentation of the 'tradition' and 'orality' of Serowe to be accurate. We argue in this dissertation that Head has constructed and manipulated concepts of 'tradition' and 'orality' in her texts to suit both her intellectual concerns and her fictional intentions. Broadly these are to present her works as the recorded history of an 'oral African' society. Head's six novels as well as aspects of her letters and interviews are examined in order to demonstrate this assertion.
A dissertation submitted to the Faculty of Arts, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts. Johannesburg, 1993.
Castrillon, Gloria Ledger (1993) Invention or reflection? - tradition and orality in the works of Bessie Head, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, <http://wiredspace.wits.ac.za/handle/10539/22105>