By Z. Norridge
An research of literary bills of being affected by sub-Saharan Africa, this e-book examines fiction and life-writing in English and French during the last 40 years. Drawing on writers from the canonical to the fewer famous, it makes use of shut readings to ascertain the private, social and political results of representing soreness in literature.
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Extra info for Perceiving Pain in African Literature
The written text Painful Encounters in Yvonne Vera’s The Stone Virgins 33 is granted its intimacy, its privacy, its creation of a world, its proposals, its individual characters, its suspension of disbelief. (3) The topics Vera broaches, such as the intimacy of rape, the disturbing imaginings of the recovering patient and the person in pain’s desperate isolation from the world, are indeed shocking and not easily described in speech. Even when the person a researcher may be interviewing has the linguistic skill to express difficult emotions, recalling the past out loud could be too painful, embarrassing, or appear socially unacceptable.
Yvonne Vera (Under 162) Yvonne Vera’s novels carry within them an insidious sense of sadness, a feeling for the tragedy of people frustrated by surroundings and circumstance. As the quotation above suggests, in Vera’s writing pain pervades women’s daily existence. It extends from the workings of the imagination to the daily process of living. Here, as elsewhere, Vera examines how individual and collective suffering is experienced as a result of curtailed dreams, social inequalities and violent conflict.
The wounded mouth is ‘stiff, as though sewn up, stitched like the hem of a dress, folded; heavy with numbness’ (123). For a while, she cannot speak and is left only with her thoughts to relive her sister’s death and contemplate the rupture that changed her world. Nonceba’s feelings about her own body continue to change after her reconstructive surgery, but her sense of physicality will never be the same again. The passage describing Nonceba’s awakening in hospital also demonstrates how in Vera’s text physical belonging is intrinsically linked to the person in pain’s renegotiation of identity.