THE EARLY SOUTHERN SOTHO NOVEL (1g00-1930): THE PERIOD OF BIRTH, NURTURING AND GROWTH

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CHAPTER2 PERSPECTIVES ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE NOVEL: THEORETICAL UNDERPINNING

Introduction

This chapter seeks to provide a selective overview of the development of the European novel, especially the English novel, essentially because of the influence it is assumed to have had on the African novel1. However, focus will not be on the novels themselves, but to a large extent on the circumstances which characterised their development. This objective will be achieved by considering the development of the novel by tracing it from the Greek epic. Such an approach is essential because, one of the distinguishing features of the novel, like the epic, is the portrayal of the ·hero’ figure. The portrayal of this ·hero’ figure is an important characteristic feature of both the novel and the epic. Such portrayal will, however, be considered specifically in relation to changes in modes of production that led to the rise of the novel, following the epic. This argument should not be understood to imply that the epic stopped when the novel emerged. The emphasis is rather on the possible factors, which changed the portrayal of the hero, as the manifestion of the relevant socio-historical periods. The era of idealism therefore constitutes an important frame of reference in the development the argument made in this section. The development of this argument will also necessitate a consideration of some of the movements that are associated with the rise of the novel, especially the era of realism. The era of realism is important in this study because it is usually associated not only with the rise of the novel but with its links with the Industrial Revolution as well. It is precisely as a result of the Industrial Revolution that a new world-view resulting from a new mode of production, namely, capitalism was initiated. A consideration of this development therefore makes the concept of production essential for this study.Subsequent to this point in the line of argument, will be the issue of criticism where a need for the use of a theory of literary production in the critique of the African novel will be mooted. Such a proposition will be made by way of demonstrating why the theory of literary production is important in the critique of the African novel in general, and the Sesotho novel in particular. The development of this proposition will, in turn, necessitate a brief look at some of the problems relating to the definition of African literature of which the Sesotho novel is part.

A brief overview of theoretical framework

The theoretical framework around the notion of production is not part of this chapter and will be discussed in full later in the relevant section. However, for the purpose of facilitating the discussion at this stage, a broad outline will be provided. Within these confines the definition of production will be broadly understood as the:
Dominant ideas or a system of beliefs, often called the economic mode of production, that govern the manner in which society produces its material needs, especially with « reference to the way in which the economic, the political, and the ideological aspects of society [ … ] are linked to each other » (Simonse, 1982:56). Such a link between various aspects of social practices is considered crucial in this study because it also explains the link between society and culture, of which the novel is part. The argument made in this study is therefore that culture evolves from and is influenced by the social mode of existence. From a materialist point of view,such mode of social existence is chiefly determined by the economic mode of production. This economic mode of production, from a materialist perspective, means that the manner in which people produce and reproduce their material life in order to live is inherent in their artistic works, especially the novel.
Contact between Africa and Europe is considered to have had impact, through the process of colonisation, on the African economic mode of production and subsequently on its culture. II will therefore be subsequently demonstrated that the novel, like culture, emerges within the context of processes of social interaction and social struggles. Such a notion will then explain why the novel is considered to be a product of social processes.
The pursuance of this line of argument will, as a result, lead to the argument about the assumed influence of the European novel on the African novel, which also has a bearing on the Sesotho novel. The questions of the development and the influence on the emergence of the African novel will consequently be approached principally from the perspective of the economic mode of production. Firstly, we shall consider the development of the novel, in general.

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The development of the novel

The existence of the novel is not wrought by some mystic power.It is a result of particular processes, which can be rationally explained. The following sections will attempt to probe this exercise by drawing information from various sources. Furthermore it will be argued that the origin of novels is not monolithic i.e. it cannot be ascribed to a single theory. It will therefore be argued that there are various circumstances that could have inspired the rise of the novel.

Perspectives on the emergence of the novel

The emergence of the novel, as a latecomer in literary history, following drama and poetry, including the (Greek) epic, is often linked to the era of realism and the emergence of a capitalist economic mode of production. Such a development became increasingly associated also with the emergence of the middle class, which class arose with the advent of the Industrial Revolution. There are two popular accounts relating to the origin of the novel that have been widely accepted. Ian Watt in The Rise of the Novel (1963) sets the one forth. He argues that the novel began in England in the early eighteenth century, « as the product of epistemological and sociological changes, that its essential feature is the circumstantial narrative …  » {cf. Reed, 1981 :20).
The other account pertains to Hegel’s, who views the novel as a ‘bourgeois prose epic’ (cf. Hall, 1979:64). Sanders’ (1978:3) interpretation of this literary development is that  »The epic strain endured a metamorphosis into the novel. » These arguments sound plausible if contrasted with the narrative structure of the novel, and considering the fact that the epic may be defined as a long narrative poem which recounts the heroic deeds of a legendary figure in a number of episodes.I could also mention, as an illustration, the fact that some of the first and most popular epic titles are, Iliad and, Odyssey, composed by the Greek poet, Homer,around the eighth century BC. The Odyssey, for instance, narrates the various episodes of the adventures of the hero, Odyssey, during his voyage home from the Trojan War to his kingdom of Ithaca {Webster’s Family Encyclopaedia, 1991: 1223).
From the above exposition, the similarities between the epic and the novel become evident. For instance, in the definition of the epic given above, one could immediately identify the notions that link the novel to the epic, namely, a ‘long narrative’ and a ‘hero’ figure. Another aspect of the link, which one could consider is
that the legendary character of the hero, is revealed in ‘a number of episodes’ in the narrative whether it is an epic or a novel.

DECLARATION 
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 
DEDICATION 
SUMMARY
PREFACE 
CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION
1.1 Introduction 
1.2 Aim of study
1.2.1 Why a shift of emphasis from traditional scholarship?
1.2.2 Overview of some of the studies covered in the Sesotho novel
1.2.2.1 Minor works
1. 2. 2. 2 Major studies
1.2.3 Why a theory of literary production?
1.3 Scope of the study: methodology 
1.3.1 Aspects covered in the thesis
1.4 Limitations of the study 
1.5 Conclusion 
CHAPTER2 PERSPECTIVES ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE NOVEL: THEORETICAL UNDERPINNING
2.1 Introduction 
2.2 A brief overview of theoretical framework 
2.3 The development of the novel
2.3.1 Perspectives on the emergence of the novel.
2.3.2 Realism and the novel
2.4 The African novel 
2.4.1 What is the African novel?
2.4.2 A critique of the African novel
2.5 Conclusion 
CHAPTER3 A SURVEY OF THE MATERIAL CONDITIONS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE RISE OF THE SESOTHO NOVEL
3.1 lntroduction 
3.2 Changes in modes of production and the attendant material conditions as factors in the emergence and the development of modern Sesotho literature 
3.3 Perspectives on the early literacy period among the Basotho 
3.4 The implication of modem technology as a factor in the orality-literature interface 
3.5 The implications of literacy as factor in the creation of social classes 
3.6 The implications of modes of production for the orality-literature interface
3. 7 Conclusion 
CHAPTER4 THE EARLY SOUTHERN SOTHO NOVEL (1g00-1930): THE PERIOD OF BIRTH, NURTURING AND GROWTH
4.1 Introduction 
4.2 Exploring literary practice as an epitome of reality 
4.3 Religion as the dominant ideology of the epoch
4.3.1 An optimistic view of religion
4.3.1.1 Perspectives on Moeti wa Botjbabela (Mofo/o)
4.3.1.2 Perspectives on Pjtseng (Mofolo)
4.3.2 A pessimistic view of religion
4.3.2.1 Perspectives on Chaka (Mofolo)
4.3.2.2 Christianity versus African religion in dealing with impurity
4.3.2.3 Magic as a wrong solution to human problems
4.3.3 Conclusion
4.4 Perspectives on Monono ke mohodi, ke mouwane (Segoete) 
4.4.1 The meaning of wealth in Monono
4.4.2 The Christian perspective of wealth in Monona
4.4.3 God’s providence in Monono
4.4.4 Conclusion
CHAPTER 5 THE INTERMEDIATE NOVEL (1930-1960): THE PERIOD OF GROWTH AND IDEOLOGICAL TURBULENCE
5.1 Introduction 
5.2 Some recent views on the development of Sesotho literature 
5.3 The development of the Sesotho novel during the ‘Le tjhabile’ era 
5.4 Material conditions affecting the Basotho between 1930 – 1960 
5.4.1 The state of material conditions in Lesotho
5.4.2 The state of material conditions in South Africa
5.5 The state of the Sesotho novel between 1930 – 1960 
5.6 Trends in the Sesotho novel from 1930 – 1960 
5.6.1 Nostalgia in Aro/a Naheng ea Maburu
5.6.2 Industrialisation and urbanisation in Mo/ah/ehi
5.6.3 Deculturation in Mosali a Nkhola
5. 7 Conclusion
CHAPTER6 PERSPECTIVES ON THE CONTEMPORARY SESOTHO NOVEL (1960s -1990s): AN EXPLORATION OF PERCEPTUAL AND IDEOLOGICAL SHIFTS
6.1 Introduction 
6.2 Some views on the humanist approach to social development 
6.3 Some significant socio-political events between the 1960s – 1990s
6.3. 1 Consolidation of apartheid
6. 3. 2 The intensification of the liberation struggle
6.3.3 Attainment of freedom
6.4 A need for intervention in African literary study 
6.5 The profiles of the Sesotho novel from the 1960s to the1990s 
6.5.1 Some trends in the Sesotho historical novels
6.5.1.1 Morena Mohlomi, mora Monyane (Guma)
6.5.1.2 Tshehlana tseo tsa Basia (Guma)
6.5.1.3 Bit/eng la Rasenate (Guma)
6.5.2 The profile of other Sesotho novels
6.5.2.1 Nna, Sajene Kokobela CID (Ntsane)
6.5.2.2 Tshiu tseo (Maphalla)
6.5.2.3 Mohah/au/a wa dithota (Tsotetsi)
6.5.2.4 Sejamonna ha se mo qete (Maake)
6.5.2.5 Mehaladitwe ha e eketheha (Mafata)
6.5.2.6 Moprofesara Ranko (Bodibe)
6.5.2. 7 Nketjwana o shweletse mohloding (Thakhisi)
6.6 Conclusion 
CHAPTER 7 
CONCLUSION 
7.1 Introduction 
7.2 The summary of findings 
7 .3 A review of literature related factors from the 1960s – 1990s 
7.3.1 Some factors that affected language practice in South Africa
7 .3.2 A profile of African literary developments in the 1960s – 1990s
7.3.3 The impact of language practice on both the developments of African languages and African communities
7.3.4 The role of the African scientist in the use of language and literature as mechanisms for community development
7 .4 The future development of the Sesotho novel 
7.5 Literature, literary study and society 
7 .6 Conclusion 
Bibliography 

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