History, politics and dogs in Zimbabwean literature, c.1975–2015

Dande, Innocent ; Swart, Sandra (2018)

CITATION: Dande, I. & Swart, S. 2018. History, politics and dogs in Zimbabwean literature, c.1975–2015. Tydskrif vir Letterkunde, 52(3):152-173, doi:10.17159/2309-9070/tvl.v.55i3.5504.

The original publication is available at https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl

Article

Zimbabwean fiction writers have engaged with dogs as objects, subjects and even actors. This essay focuses on the pivotal forty-year period between 1975 and 2015, which saw the end of white rule, the rise of an independent African state and the collapse of that state. In analysing how selected writers have variously made use of dogs, we discuss the extent to which writers deal with human-dog relations. We buttress our point by examining key pieces of fiction in which dogs appear and we unpack the extent to which fictive representations of humans and dogs approximate lived relations in pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial settings. We show the enduring relevance of dogs as metaphors of power in the Zimbabwean political landscape. We contend that such canine allegories have a history and explore their usage by creative writers over the last forty years.

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