By James Graham
During this quantity, Graham investigates the relation among land and nationalism in South African and Zimbabwean fiction from the Sixties to the current. This comparative research, the 1st of its style, discusses quite a lot of writing opposed to a backdrop of nearby decolonization, together with novels by way of the prize-winning authors J.M Coetzee, Nadine Gordimer, Bessie Head, Chenjerai Hove, and Yvonne Vera. through applying a number of serious perspectives—cultural materialist, feminist and ecocritical—this booklet deals new methods of pondering the connection among literature, politics and the surroundings in Southern Africa. The go back of land has been critical to the cloth and cultural struggles for decolonization in Southern Africa, but among the appearance of democracy in Zimbabwe (1980) and South Africa (1994) and Zimbabwe’s choice to fast-track land redistribution in 2000, it's been constrained land reform instead of common land redistribution that has prevailed. in this interval nationalist discourses of reconciliation and financial improvement changed these of revolution and decolonization. This booklet develops a critique of either varieties of nationalistic narrative via concentrating on how varied and infrequently opposing notion of land and country are mirrored, refracted or even refused within the fictions.
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Additional resources for Land and Nationalism in Fictions from Southern Africa (Routledge Research in Postcolonial Literatures)
As Zhuwarara (2001: 259) and Primorac (2006: 105) have illustrated, it takes the themes prevalent in black male-authored pre-independence literature and ‘feminises’ them from the perspective of a post-colonial female narrator. In particular, the story of Tambudzai Sigauke’s journey—from a rural homestead on Tribal Trust Lands in Umtali to a mission school and then to the Sacred Heard Convent school—re-writes the Zimbabwean form of bildungsroman found in, among others, Samkange’s The Mourned One (cf.
But there remains enough irony in the novel to problematise the seeming naturalness of this gendered vision. In this fictional world, the kind of perspective that sees ‘the land’ solely in terms of ‘peasant consciousness’, the nationalist narrative and masculine alienation, represents a partial engagement with the larger drama of colonial modernity, much like Lucifer’s own: a potentially reductive national consciousness blind to the manifold narratives of local as well as national history. This is not to say that the novel censures the liberation struggle14 and accepts colonial continuity—far from it, in fact.
In contrast to the verdant pastures of the Hampshire Estates, their ‘country’ is the “uniformly dead landscape” of the Tribal Trust Land bequeathed following the colonial expropriations of the 1890s and the land apportionment legislation of the 1930s, and consolidated by the “technocratic” development of Native agriculture in the 1940s and 1950s and the cultivation of ‘customary’ land use through the Tribal Land Authorities in the 1960s and 1970s (Alexander 2006: 2–7). As Veit-Wild (1992) argues and I have illustrated, the passage provides a ‘socio-economic analysis’ of Rhodesian land distribution policy, yet, as she adds, “Mungoshi does not explain or comment; he simply allows the description to make the economic situation visible” (292).