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ELL2007F Lecture notes:Down Second Avenue(1959) by Es’kia Mphahlele°Lecturer: Hedley Twidle1stperson novel vs. Autobiography:An autobiography because we can “corroborate” and check from other sources.Autobiography:oIs this a Western undertaking?oCan you tell it is an autobiography from the beginning? Or couldn’t it be a novel?°Teaching, Learning & Education:oPositive: Self-creation,self-actualization, self-qualification, opportunity, stability,skill(set), professionoNegative/Skeptical: Expensive, Exclusive,indoctrinationEpilogue:o‘Main’ text? Or paratext?oThe literary system: validation and exclusionoBitterness and fragmentation… or the ‘integrated’ adult ‘I’?oMixture of ‘chapter’ text and ‘interlude’ text?oIntegration and fragmentation: a derailed…Side notes:oHedley: “We accept chronology as natural; yet, we are prepared to question otherthings.”o‘Bildungsroman’:a novel dealing with one person's formative years or spiritualeducation (often set at a university)oThere is thisreverencewith education, but also there is thisdissatisfaction.This isan interesting way to read the bookoThere is also a generational divide - Being the 1stof a family to get an educationoIs it about slotting us in like hogs into society… or is it about change and growth?oEUROPEAN CULTURE POSITED A FALSE UNIVERSALISM -How accessible is it?Censorship:oIdea of the absurd in SA; Apartheid as a denial of reality - to deny, the governmenthad to legislate (over and over again)oParadox of Censorship: When you censor something, you draw attention to the thingthat you censor.oCensorship Archives - Almost reads like literary criticism
o“Whether to deprive the non-white of the right of expression”°Questions:oWhy does the book linger over one moment for a chapter, etc., and then accelerateacross many years in the same number of pages?oLITERATURE AS HISTORYVERSUSLITERATURE AS A STORYoIntergenerational reaction and riftoQuestion of spaces:oPhysical SpaceNative Lands ActoIntellectual Space°°°Down Second Avenue:°works of creative non-fictionSol Plaatje - Native Life in SA; Biko - I Write What I Like; Mandela - Long Walk toFreedom etc.autobiography vs biographythinking about the autobiography - self life writing; hugely important mode of writingin SA - political lives, historical life, textual life (turning a real life into a text)the life of Mphahlele:pretoriateacher at a blind instituteopposes Bantu education - banned from teachingdrum magazine in Joburg -investigative journalism, fiction, playfulexiledphd thesis - wrote “the wanderer” in the UScomes back to SA - becomes an inspector of schools in his home landsWits University until 1987becomes a publisher of SA writers; involved in the African Writer Series‘The African Image’ essay (lecture slide) explains the SA urban literature of black SAas a culturethemes of the lectures:1.life-writing and (political) ‘lives’ in SA2.………READING:’Exile the Literary Compromise and the Tyranny of Place’

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Third Person, Writer, Grammatical person

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