The World and the Word: Tales and Observations from the Xhosa Oral Tradition
A master storyteller of the Xhosa people of South Africa, Nongenile Masithathu Zenani gives us an unprecedented view of an oral society from within. Twenty-four of her complex and beautiful tales about birth, puberty, marriage, and work, as told to the renowned collector of African oral tradition, Harold Scheub, are gathered here. Accompanying the stories are Zenani’s detailed commentaries and analyses and Scheub’s striking photographs of her in performance. The combination of these historical and cultural observations with a richly symbolic collection of tales from a single traditional storyteller make The World and the Word a remarkable document.
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With the culture ' s most deeply felt , enduring fears and hopes compressed within
them , they have the capacity to elicit strong emotional responses from members
of audiences : it is the task of the storyteller , Mrs . Zenani contended , to forge ...
Once the audience is in apparent control of the rhythmic movement ( the
performer will repeat the basic patterns until she is certain that it is in control ) ,
friction is introduced as the artist purposely neglects to fulfill the audience ' s
Such images have no place in time until they are objectified in a performance ,
placed in a linear continuum before an audience . Each repetition contains new
information . The artist fashions a work of art around the repeated action , moving
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