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Imagining the city in Zimbabwean literature 1949 to 2009

dc.contributor.advisorSamuelson, Megen_ZA
dc.contributor.advisorGagiano, Annieen_ZA
dc.contributor.authorMuchemwa, Kizito Zhiradzagoen_ZA
dc.contributor.otherStellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of English.en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned2013-11-22T08:32:05Zen_ZA
dc.date.accessioned2013-12-13T14:50:11Z
dc.date.available2013-11-22T08:32:05Zen_ZA
dc.date.available2013-12-13T14:50:11Z
dc.date.issued2013-12en_ZA
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/85579
dc.descriptionThesis (PhD)-- Stellenbosch University, 2013.en_ZA
dc.description.abstractENGLISH ABSTRACT: My thesis is on the literary imagining of the city in Zimbabwean literature that emerges as a re-visioning and contestation of its colonial and postcolonial manifestations. Throughout the seven chapters of the thesis I conduct a close reading of literary texts engaged in literary (re)creations of the city. I focus on texts by selected authors from 1949 to 2009 in order to trace the key aspects of this city imagining and their historical situatedness. In the first chapter, I argue the case for the inclusions and exclusions that are evident. In this historical span, I read the Zimbabwean canon and the city that is figured in it as palimpsests in order to analyse (dis)connections. This theoretical frame brings out wider relationships and connections that emerge in the (re)writing of both the canon and city. I adopt approaches that emphasise how spaces and temporalities ‗overlap and interlace‘ to provoke new ways of thinking about the city and the construction of identity. I argue for the country-city connection as an important dynamic in the various (re)imaginings of the city. Space is politicized along lines of race, ethnicity, gender and class in regimes of politics and aesthetics of inclusion and exclusion that are refuted by the focal texts of the thesis. I analyse the fragmentation of rural and urban space in the literary texts and how country and city house politico-aesthetic regimes of domination, exclusion and marginalisation. Using tropes of the house, music and train, I analyse how connections in the city are imagined. These tropes are connected to the travel motif found in all the chapters of the thesis. Travel is in most of the texts offered as a form of escape from the country represented as a site of essentialism or nativism. Both settlers and nationalists, from different ideological positions, invest the land and the city with symbolic political and cultural values. Both figure the city as alien to the colonised, a figuration that is contested in most of the focal texts of the thesis. Travel from the country to the city through halfway houses is presented as a way of negotiating location in new spaces, finding new identities and contending with the multiple connections found in the city. The relentless (un)housing in Marechera‘s writing expresses a refusal to be bounded by aesthetic, nationalist and racial houses as they are constructed in the city. In Vera‘s fiction, travel – in multifarious directions and in a re-racing of the quest narrative in Lessing – becomes a critical search for a re-scripting of gender and woman‘s demand for a right to the city. The nomadism in Vera‘s fiction is re-configured in the portrayal of the marginalised as the parvenus and pariahs of the city in the fiction of Chinodya and Tagwira. In the chapter on Chikwava and Gappah, in the contexts of spatial displacement and expansion, the nationalist nativist construction of self, city and nation comes under stress. I interrogate how ideologies of space shape politico-aesthetic regimes in both the country and the city throughout the different historical phases of the city. In this regard I adopt theoretical approaches that engage with questions of aesthetic equality as they relate to the contestation of spatial partitioning based on categories of race, gender and class. In city re-imaginings this re-claiming of aesthetic power to imagine the city is invoked and in all the texts it emerges as a reclaiming of the right to the city by the colonised, women, immigrants and all the marginalised. I adopt those approaches that lend themselves to the deconstruction of hegemonic figuration, disempowerment and silencing of the marginalised, especially women, in re-imagining the city and their identities in it.en_ZA
dc.description.abstractAFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: My tesis se onderwerp is die literêre voorstellings van die stad in Zimbabwiese letterkunde wat ontstaan as ‗n herverbeelding van en teenvoeter vir beide koloniale en postkoloniale manifestasies. Regdeur die sewe hoofstukke van die tesis voer ek deurtastende interpretasies van literêre tekste aan, wat die stad op nuwe maniere uitbeeld. My fokus val op tekste deur geselekteerde skrywers van 1949 tot 2009 ten einde die sleutelelemente van hierdie proses van stadverbeelding en die historiese gesitueerdheid daarvan te ondersoek. In die eerste hoofstuk bied ek die argument aan betreffende die voor-die-hand liggende in- en uitsluitings van tekste. Deur hierdie historiese strekking lees ek die Zimbabwiese kanon en die stad wat daarin figureer as palimpseste, ten einde die (dis-)konneksies te kan analiseer. Hierdie teoretiese beraming belig die wyere verhoudings en verbindings wat na vore kom in die (her-) skrywe van beide die kanon en die stad. Ek gebruik benaderings wat benadruk hoe ruimtes en tydelikhede oormekaarvloei en saamvleg om sodoende nuwe maniere om oor die stad en oor identiteitskonstruksie te besin, aanmoedig. Ek argumenteer vir die stad-platteland konneksie as ‗n belangrike dinamika in die verskillende (her-)voorstellings van die stad. Ruimte word só verpolitiseer met betrekking tot ras, etnisiteit, gender en klas binne politieke regimes asook ‗n estetika van in- en uitsluiting wat deur die kern-tekste verwerp word. Ek analiseer verder die fragmentasie van landelike en stedelike ruimtes in die literêre tekste, en hoe die plattelandse en stedelike ruimtes tuistes bied aan polities-estetiese regimes van dominasie, uitsluiting en marginalisering. Die huis, musiek en die trein word gebruik as beelde om verbindings in die stad te ondersoek. Hierdie beelde sluit aan by die motif van die reis wat in al die hoofstukke manifesteer. Die reis word in die meeste tekste gesien as ‗n vorm van ontsnapping uit die platteland, wat voorgestel word as ‗n plek van essensie-voorskrywing en ingeborenheid. Beide intrekkers en nasionaliste, uit verskillende ideologiese vertrekpunte, bekleed die platteland of die stad met simboliese politieke en kulturele waardes. Beide verbeeld die stad as vreemd aan die gekoloniseerdes; ‗n uitbeelding wat verwerp word in die fokale tekste van die studie. Reis van die platteland na die stad deur halfweg-tuistes word aangebied as metodes van onderhandeling om plek te vind in nuwe ruimtes, nuwe identiteite te bekom en om te leer hoe om met die stedelike verbindings om te gaan. Die onverbiddelikke (ont-)tuisting in die werk van Marechera gee uitdrukking aan ‗n weiering om deur estetiese, nasionalistiese en rassiese behuising soos deur die stad omskryf en voorgeskryf, vasgevang te word. In die fiksie van Vera word reis – in telke rigtings en in die her-rassing van die soektog-motif in Lessing – ‗n kritiese soeke na die herskrywing van gender en van die vrou se op-eis van die reg tot die stad. Die nomadisme in Vera se fiksie word ge-herkonfigureer in uitbeelding van gemarginaliseerdes as die parvenus en die uitgeworpenes van die stad in die fiksie van Chinodya en Tagwira. In die hoofstuk oor Chikwava en Gappah word die nasionalistiese ingeborenes se konstruering van die self, stad en nasie onder stremmimg geplaas in kontekste van ruimtelike verplasing en uitbreiding. Ek ondervra hoe ideologieë van spasie vorm gee aan polities-estetiese regimes in beide die platteland en die stad regdeur die verskillende historiese fases van die stad. In hierdie opsig maak ek gebruik van teoretiese benaderings wat betrokke is met vraagstukke van estetiese gelykheid met verwysing na kontestasies oor ruimtelike verdelings gebaseer op kategorieë van ras, gender en klas. In herverbeeldings van die stad word hierdie reklamering van die estetiese mag om die stad te verbeel, bygehaal in al die tekste as herklamering van die reg tot die stad deur gekoloniseerdes, vroue, immigrante en alle gemarginaliseerdes. Ek maak gebruik van benaderings wat hulself leen tot die dekonstruksie van hegemoniese verbeelding, ontmagtiging en die stilmaak van gemarginaliseerdes, veral vroue, in die herverbeelding van die stad en hul plek binne die stadsruimte.af_ZA
dc.format.extent185 p.
dc.language.isoen_ZA
dc.publisherStellenbosch : Stellenbosch Universityen_ZA
dc.subjectZimbabwean literature (English) -- 20th century -- History and criticismen_ZA
dc.subjectCity and town life in literatureen_ZA
dc.subjectDissertations -- English literatureen_ZA
dc.subjectTheses -- English literatureen_ZA
dc.titleImagining the city in Zimbabwean literature 1949 to 2009en_ZA
dc.typeThesis
dc.rights.holderStellenbosch University


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