Resistance and Consciousness in Kenya and South Africa: Subalternity and Representation in the Novels of Ngugi Wa Thiongó and Alex La Guma

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Peter Lang, 2002 - Literary Criticism - 391 pages
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This study undertakes an analysis of the models of response (resistance/non-agency) to colonial, apartheid and post-colonial imposition which are posited in the novels of the Kenyan author Ngugi wa Thiong'o and the South African writer Alex La Guma. Such a focus involves related issues such as the relationship between the consciousness level of the subaltern and his/her capacity for resistance, and how oppression affects self-construction and consciousness. Since the book deals with resistance and consciousness within the textual space of the novels, the central issue raised in the study is explored around questions of representation. The study places the texts in the historical and political context of colonial and post-colonial Kenya and apartheid South Africa.<BR> The study analyses the development of the two authors' literary careers and distinguishes between two phases in the two authors' fiction, viz. their -counter-hegemonic- and their -combat- fiction. While the counter-hegemonic fiction resists essentialist representation of subaltern consciousness and rejects an essentialist view of resistance as an obvious, non-contradictory act, the study claims that their combat literature is a more direct, uncompromising and often one-dimensional reaction and struggle against the oppressor."

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A Grain cf Wheat
A transitional case

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About the author (2002)

The Author: Anders Breidlid teaches Development Studies and International Education at Oslo University College. He is a former Dean of Oslo University College and was previously Rector of Bislet College. He was educated at the University of Oslo and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London (Ph.D.). He has been a research fellow at the University of Cape Town and has worked as an education co-ordinator in Sudan. He is currently the chairperson of LINS (Centre for International Education) at Oslo University College.

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