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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MASITHATHU ZENANI ON STORYTELLING Storytelling , said Masithathu Zenani
, is a sensory union of image and idea , a process of recreating the past in terms
of the present ; the storyteller uses realistic images to limn the present , and ...
But those memories have been retained through the generations ; since that
early time when they did reflect a contemporary world , they have evolved into
highly compressed images that no longer have the function of mirroring reality in
The repetition of words , of phrases , of full images , and finally of complete
narrative segments , whether identical or diverse , is vital to the artistic
experience and involves both temporal and spatial elements . The simplest form
of image ...