Finding My Way: Reflections on South African Literature

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University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2020 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 202 pages
This book offers a series of reflections on the field of South African literature from the perspective of 2020. It emerges from Duncan Brown's experiences of three decades of working in this field of writing and scholarship, and is both a personal intellectual exploration and an engagement with the institutional history of literary studies in South Africa and elsewhere. Several interrelated questions are woven through the chapters: recovering 'the literary'; literary studies 'after theory'; religion and spirituality; 'other' modes of writing and reading; rereadings; South African literary history postapartheid; canonicity; national/transnational identity; and multilingualism and translation. As well as being a book about the changing field of South African literature, Finding My Way is also a series of attempts to find more creative, engaging, and intriguing modes of writing about literature and the humanities more generally. It is a book that seeks to recover a sense of the imaginative, the literary, and the affective, not only as things to value in the literary texts we read, but also as ways of understanding and reading texts, and ways of writing criticism - of registering how books make us feel, as well as how they make us think.

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About the author (2020)

Duncan Brown is a professor of English in the Centre for Multilingualism and Diversities Research at the University of the Western Cape. He has published widely in the field of South African literary and cultural studies. His books include To Speak of This Land: Identity and Belonging in South Africa and Beyond (2006), Religion and Spirituality in South Africa: New Perspectives (2009), Are Trout South African? Stories of Fish, People and Places (2013), and Wilder Lives: Humans and Our Environments (2019). He is also a Fellow of the University of KwaZulu-Natal and a Fellow of the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study.

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