Engaging with Literature of Commitment. Volume 1

Africa in the World


This collection ranges far and wide, as befits the personality and accomplishments of the dedicatee, Geoffrey V. Davis, German studies and exile literature scholar, postcolonialist (if there are ‘specialties’, then Australia, Canada, India, South Africa, Black Britain), journal and book series editor.... Themes covered include publishing in Africa, charisma in African drama, the rediscovery of apartheid-era South African literature, Truth and Reconciliation commissions, South African cinema, children’s theatre in England and Eritrea, and the Third Chimurenga in literary anthologies. Surveyed are texts from Botswana, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. Writers discussed (or interviewed: Angela Makholwa) include Ayi Kwei Armah, Seydou Badian, J.M. Coetzee, Chielo Zona Eze, Ruth First, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Bessie Head, Ian Holding, Kavevangua Kahengua, Njabulo Ndebele, Lara Foot Newton, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o/Micere Githae Mugo, Sol Plaatje, Ken Saro–Wiwa, Mongane Wally Serote, Wole Soyinka, and Ed¬gar Wallace, together with essays on the artist Sokari Douglas Camp and the filmmaker Rayda Jacobs. Because Geoff’s commitment to literature has always been ‘hands-on’, the book closes with a selection of poems and an entertaining travelogue/memoir.

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Gordon Collier has published books on translation and on Patrick White, and is the editor or co-editor of numerous critical anthologies. He is co-general editor of the book-series Cross/Cultures and of the journal Matatu.
Marc Delrez teaches anglophone and comparative literature at the University of Liège. He is the author of a book on Janet Frame and co-editor (with Bénédicte Ledent) of The Contact and the Culmination (1997), a collection of essays on postcolonial literature.
Anne Fuchs taught comparative literature and theatre studies at the University of Nice. She is the co-editor (with Geoff Davis) of two collections of essays on South African and Black British theatre.
Bénédicte Ledent teaches English language and Caribbean literature at the University of Liège. She is the author, editor, and co-editor of books on Caryl Phillips and on Caribbean literature.

Contributors: Jacques Alvarez-Péreyre, Stella Borg Barthet, Marcia Blumberg, Shirley Chew, Brian Crow, M.J. Daymond, Holger Ehling, Anne Fuchs, James Gibbs, Stephen Gray, Gareth Griffiths, Jürgen Jansen, Karen King–Aribisala, Elmar Lehmann, Bernth Lindfors, Mbongeni Malaba, Andrew Martin, Richard Martin, Jürgen Martini, Christine Matzke, Jane Plastow, Monika Reif–Hülser, Christiane Schlote, Frank Schulze–Engler, Jamie S. Scott, Michael Senior, John A Stotesbury, Peter Stummer, Hamish Walker, and Brian Worsfold.
"Ce premier volume consacré à l’engagement en littérature est captivant. Il propose un aperçu global de l’évolution de la littérature sud-africaine produite pendant l’apartheid et après." – Karen Ferreira-Meyers, University of Swaziland
Introduction: A Memory Trip. Partly in Tandem, Partly Quadrilogical
Africa, My Africa
Holger Ehling: Publishing in Africa: An Overview
Brian Crow: Charisma and Leadership in African Drama
Jürgen Martini: The Little White Ship
Elmar Lehmann: “The Fateful 13”: Sol Plaatje and the Natives’ Land Act
Andrew Martin: Come Back, Dennis Brutus! Geoffrey Davis and the Rediscovery of Apartheid-Era South African Literature
Jamie S. Scott: Space, Time, Solitude: The Liberating Contradictions of Ruth First’s 117 Days
Anne Fuchs: Njabulo Ndebele: From Rediscovering the ‘Ordinary’ to Redefining South African ‘Renaissance’
Brian Worsfold: To Every Miracle Its Gods: Mongane Wally Serote’s Gods of Our Time as a Post-Apartheid Perception of Black Experience
Christine Matzke: Girls with Guts: Writing a South African Thriller: Angela Makholwa in Conversation
Marcia Blumberg: The Politics of Hope: Engaging Lara Foot Newton’s Tshepang: The Third Testament
John A Stotesbury: Rayda Jacobs’s Confessions of a Gambler as Post-Apartheid Cinema
Mbongeni Malaba: Exile and Return in Kavevangua Kahengua’s Dreams
M. J. Daymond: Making a ‘Home’ Elsewhere: The Letters of Bessie Head, 1963–1974
James Gibbs: The Portrait of the Artist as a Younger Traveller: A Reader’s Response to Wole Soyinka’s You Must Set Forth at Dawn
Shirley Chew: Putting Freedom to the Test: Wole Soyinka’s You Must Set Forth at Dawn
Bernth Lindfors: The Lion and the Jewel on BBC Radio: An Audience Survey
Stella Borg Barthet: The Politics of Myth in Ayi Kwei Armah’s Fragments
Christiane Schlote: Oil, Masquerades, and Memory: Sokari Douglas Camp’s Memorial of Ken Saro–Wiwa
Monika Reif–Hülser: Ways of Transition: Truth and Reconciliation Commissions: Controversial Strategies for Dealing with Past Violence in Societies in Transition
Frank Schulze–Engler: Freedom vs. Anticolonialism in Zimbabwe: Subversions of the ‘Third Chimurenga’ Myth in African Literature
Gareth Griffiths: Narrative, Identity and Social Practice in Tanzania: Abdulrazak Gurnah’s Ironic Paradise
Jane Plastow: Finding Children’s Voices: Using Theatre to Critique the Education System in England and Eritrea
What It’s All About
Richard Martin: Three poems for Geoff from around the world
Jacques Alvarez-Péreyre: Les revenants/They are back!
Stephen Gray: Interview with the Last Speaker
Karen King–Aribisala: The Nature of Tragedy
Jürgen Jansen: he made it – very much his story
Peter Stummer: Stock-Taking in the Guise of Some Semantic Gymnastics: A raw poem for Geoff, in honour of Hena and Anna
Hamish Walker and Michael Senior: A Personal Dedication to Dr. Geoffrey Vernon Davis, or, a socialite gentleman scholar, cosmopolitan workaholic, connoisseur of fine books, films, wines, beers, and spirits
Notes on Contributors