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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Complementary Oral and Written Narrative Conventions: Sindiwe Magona's Autobiography and Short Story Sequence, 'Women at Work'
Author:Daymond, Margaret J.
Year:2002
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Volume:28
Issue:2
Period:June
Pages:331-346
Language:English
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:literature
autobiographies (form)
Literature, Mass Media and the Press
Education and Oral Traditions
Historical/Biographical
About person:Sindiwe Magona (1943-)ISNI
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/823388
Abstract:In her two-volume autobiography, 'To my childrens' children' (1990) and 'Forced to grow' (1992), Sindiwe Magona positions her created and creating self as liminal, carefully exposing ways in which her narration draws on two sets of narrative conventions - those of Xhosa orature and those of western writing - and the resultant text is dialogic. In the 'Women at Work' sequence of stories (1991), this cultural mix is still present, but the conventions are used to complement rather than interrogate each other, and are consequently less exposed. For example, each of the individual life-story monologues in the sequence is 'spoken' in the mode of the dramatic monologue of Western literature, but the presence of orature is also to be discerned in the consistent structural and thematic use of one character as an audience-figure during each monologue. Magona's 'interdiscursive' writing, and the cultural continuities it suggests, is an indication that certain currently powerful assumptions in postcolonial criticism, which arise from its almost exclusive focus on writing, need to be revisited in the light of the sustained and sustaining presence of orature. Notes, ref., sum.
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