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The present volume is to date the only comprehensive study of the beginnings of narrative prose writing in South Africa, covering the period from the 1890s to the 1920s. As can only be expected from a multi-ethnic as well as multicultural society, a varied history like this does not lend itself to being presented as a narrative of literary development and change along a linear continuum. If literature is conceived of as a cultural activity whose task it is to process and reflect upon the social experience and the discourses prevalent in a given society, a context as diverse as the South African one can only give rise to a number of competing stories that refuse to be merged into a single and coherent literary history. The authors thus dealt with in more detail are Sol T. Plaatje, Thomas Mofolo, Douglas Blackburn, Olive Schreiner, Samuel E.K. Mqhayi, Herman Charles Bosman, Stephen Black, C.J. Langenhoven and Louis Leipholdt.
In: Poetica
Die Schriftenreihe ALE befasst sich mit der Erforschung der englischsprachigen Literaturen Afrikas in der Breite und Vielfalt ihrer Themen, Formen und soziohistorischen Kontexte. Gleichzeitig impliziert der Titel, dass der Forschungsgegenstand als Hinterlassenschaft des britischen Kolonialismus ein kulturell hybrides Phänomen ist, welches im weiteren Umfeld der Colonial Studies mitsamt deren postkolonialer Kritik und Revision anzusiedeln ist. Entsprechend sollen die relevanten Texte einerseits als Teil des Symbolsystems Literatur einschließlich seiner einschlägigen ästhetischen Verfahren verstanden werden, in anderer Hinsicht aber als Teil des Sozialsystems und damit der Selbstinterpretation wie Selbstverständigung von Gesellschaften über ihre gemeinsame Sinngebung zu sehen sind.

The series ALE is focused on researching all African literatures written in the English language, encompassing the breadth and multiplicity of their thematic, formal and socio-historical aspects. The title equally implies that the object of study is conceived as a consequence of British colonialism, thus making it into a cultural hybrid that is inscribed in the wider context of Colonial Studies including their postcolonial critique and revision. Accordingly the texts to be studied are not only understood as forming part of the symbolic system of literature and its aesthetic procedures, but in an equal measure as part of the social system where they belong with the process of societies making meaning of themselves.