Xhosa Literature: Spoken and Printed Words

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Xhosa Literature: Spoken and Printed Words consists of fourteen essays addressing Xhosa literature in three media – the spoken word, newspapers and books. Literary critics tend to focus on Xhosa literature published in books; some attention has been paid to Xhosa oral poetry and tales, but by and large the contribution of newspapers to the development of Xhosa literature has been overlooked. This book explores aspects of Xhosa literature in all three media, and their interconnections. Six of the essays treat historical narratives (amabali) and praise poetry (izibongo), setting out the social and ritual function of poetry and the poet (imbongi), mapping changes in the izibongo of three poets as South Africa moved towards democracy in the 1990s, and analysing recordings of two poems recited by S.E.K. Mqhayi. Three essays are devoted to the first Xhosa novel, Mqhayi’s U-Samson (1907), to the publication of the greatest novel in Xhosa, A.C. Jordan’s Ingqumbo yeminyanya (1940), and to the first published poem in praise of Nelson Mandela, D.L.P. Yali-Manisi’s `UNkosi Rolihlahla Nelson Mandela’ (1954). There follow accounts of Xhosa literature in the nineteenth century and the appropriation of the press by Xhosa editors towards the end of that century, of Nontsizi Mgqwetho’s fiery poetry published in Umteteli wa Bantu and of poems by Mgqwetho and Mqhayi published in Abantu-Batho, two Johannesburg newspapers. The volume concludes with an exposition of an imaginative response to David Yali-Manisi and his poetry.

TITLE: XHOSA LITERATURE: SPOKEN AND PRINTED WORDS

AUTHOR: JEFF OPLAND

PUBLISHER: UKZN PRESS

ISBN: 9781869143862

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