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Conference papers

Translating culture: Charles Mungoshi's Waiting for the Rain

Abstract : In Waiting for the Rain Charles Mungoshi chose a western form, the novel, and a western language, English, to try and convey the deep changes at work in Zimbabwean society at the time. This paper focuses on both aspects: first, the adaptation of the novelistic genre to Zimbabwean culture, and second, the defamiliarization of the English language, which is not Mungoshi's mother tongue. What is questioned is whether the incorporation of essentially oral elements, belonging to and borrowed from a specific culture and language, which are initially peripheral and foreign to the dominant "English" culture, can transform both Zimbabwean culture and English culture – in other words, Waiting for the Rain is read as an example of how the periphery writes back to the centre, and how this “writing back” de-centres the dominant culture and the dominant language. By adopting and transforming English cultural features, Mungoshi creates his own language, which both reflects and influences the deep cultural transformations in Zimbabwe.
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Conference papers
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Contributor : Mélanie Joseph-Vilain Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, May 6, 2010 - 9:42:57 AM
Last modification on : Friday, June 8, 2018 - 2:50:13 PM


  • HAL Id : halshs-00481144, version 1



Mélanie Joseph-Vilain. Translating culture: Charles Mungoshi's Waiting for the Rain. Cultural Transformations in the English-Speaking World, Mar 2008, Aix-en-Provence, France. pp.116-128. ⟨halshs-00481144⟩



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