Research Articles (English)

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    Towards a Stylistic Re-Reading of John Eppel's Absent: The English Teacher
    (Taylor & Francis, 2017-10-17) Dube, Nhlanhla
    This paper seeks to articulate the reasons behind the structure and style John Eppel employs in his novel Absent: The English Teacher. Approaches to John Eppel’s creative works have been myopic and slight. Attention has not been paid to the technical achievements and the deliberate construction that Eppel uses in his novel Absent: The English Teacher. This paper eschews prior readings of this work in order to formulate a new one based on structure. By dealing with the unusual elements of the novel the paper explains the alternative ways of representation and storytelling found in the novel. The inclusion of certain structural elements in the novel by Eppel is found to be deliberate. It is concluded that the structure of the novel is appropriate to the story because of the occupation of the protagonist. Multi-genre inclusion in the prose of the novel is identified, assessed and the impact towards its contribution to the narrative objectives is highlighted. This paper argues that Eppel should rightly be considered a member of the Zimbabwean literary establishment based on his innovative creativity.
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    Enmeshment of Zimbabwean law and literature in Petina Gappah’s Rotten Row (2016)
    (JULACE, 2020) Dube, Nhlanhla
    This article assesses the relationship between Zimbabwean literature and Zimbabwean law. This is done by closely reading two short stories, namely from Petina Gappah’s 2016 anthology “Rotten Row”. A discussion of the ever-burgeoning literature and law movement is conducted in order to situate the article within the broader law and humanities interdisciplinary effort. Images of legal figures and legal institutions are assessed in order to determine the portraits they produce in the fiction. The close relationship of the Zimbabwean court judgement and the judgement as storytelling method in fiction is highlighted and explained. It is concluded that Gappah’s fiction is strongly connected to the law and that this is a deliberate story telling strategy.
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    Patterson’s pornographic portraits: a deconstruction of the sex scenes in the novel the children of sisyphus
    (AFRICAN JOURNALS ONLINE (AJOL), 2021-06) Dube, Nhlanhla
    The literary depiction of sex, and by extension pornography, in early modern Caribbean literature has been neglected by literary academicians. Using Susan Sontag’s theorisation of the pornographic imagination, this paper analyses sex scenes in Orlando Patterson’s The Children of Sisyphus in order to determine whether or not they could be labelled as ‘pornographic’. The analysis is done with reference to other pornographic texts and novelists from various time periods. The link between literature and pornography is discussed and its relevance to the novel under discussion explained. The sex scenes assessed are pornographic because of the gratuitous nature of the sexual details which amount to a deliberate attempt at sexually arousing the reader. Such gratuitous detail is evident in the obsessive descriptions of the sex scenes, the use of fetish, and literary foreplay.
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    The Contest for Space in Zimbabwean Literature. The case of the novel, The Uncertainty of Hope
    (, 2021-06) Dube, Nhlanhla
    The Uncertainty of Hope (2006) by Valerie Tagwira is a novel that offers profound insights into the condition of Zimbabweans during a time of crisis. Muchemwa (2013:128) argues that “Tagwira‘s novel is often read in one of two ways: either as an HIV/AIDS novel focusing on the infection risks faced by women in a patriarchal culture that encourages men to have unsafe sex with multiple partners or as a Murambatsvina novel that opens a unique fictional window onto the massive displacement of people by a black postcolonial government”. The relatively few scholars that have opined on the novel have applied an HIV/AIDS reading.
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    Male 'Somaliness' in diasporic contexts : Somali authors' evaluative evocations
    (Department of Afrikaans, University of Pretoria, 2020-04-28) Gagiano, Annie
    Addressing five texts by four Somali authors—Nuruddin Farah’s Yesterday, Tomorrow: Voices from the Somali Diaspora (2000) and North of Dawn (2018) in juxtaposition with three novels by female Somali authors, i.e. Safi Abdi’s Offspring of Paradise (2003), Cristina Ali Farah’s Little Mother (201; Italian original 2007) and Igiaba Scego’s Adua (English translation 2017, Italian original 2015)—this article assesses the work these texts do to enhance contemporary understanding of the complex, evolving phenomenon that is the diasporic Somali presence in Western Europe, focusing on Somali men. How do the authors portray and (implicitly or overtly) evaluate how diasporic male Somalis cope in foreign, non-Muslim and culturally Western environments—against the backdrop of Somalia’s state collapse and social disintegration? Somali men’s experiences have generally been given less attention than those of their female counterparts, hence the focus here on male-gendered characters. This focus serves to link the two Nuruddin Farah texts and the three novels by Somali women—a textual grouping and focus not previously attempted in critical studies of Farah’s work. This brief essay assesses the five texts’ respective combinations of evaluative evocation, affective intensity and epistemological detail, approaching these works as complementing social science researchers’ efforts in depicting diasporic Somali men’s lives. By deepening understanding of the impact of the diaspora on individual Somali men, the five texts convey significant psychological, social and moral insights into lives of Somali men in foreign contexts.