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A Chain of Voices: A "Masters and Slaves" Narrative

Abstract : Because no less than thirty different narrators take turns to tell us the story of a slave revolt, A Chain of Voices can be read as Brink's attempt at revisiting the classical "slave narrative", turning it into a polyphonic "masters and slaves" narrative in which everyone is given a say. This article examines how this polyphonic, and even multifocal, mode of narration enables Brink to write back to both classical slave narratives and to their twentieth-century counterparts, the neo-slave narratives. What it suggests is that although A Chain of Voices bears many resemblances to neo-slave narratives in terms of form, especially because of its recourse to polyphony, it is also extremely close to traditional slave narratives in terms of function, since by implicitly drawing parallels between slavery and apartheid, it seeks to convince readers of the necessity to fight such evils, and therefore also establish intertextual connections with contemporary accounts of life under apartheid.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00480936
Contributor : Mélanie Joseph-Vilain <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, May 5, 2010 - 2:21:02 PM
Last modification on : Friday, June 8, 2018 - 2:50:13 PM

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Mélanie Joseph-Vilain. A Chain of Voices: A "Masters and Slaves" Narrative. Judith Misrahi-Barak. Revisiting Slave Narratives II, Service des Publications de l'Université Montpellier III, pp.155-176, 2007, Carnets du Cerpac n°6. ⟨halshs-00480936⟩

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