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Sound Effects: Synaesthesia as Purposeful Distortion in Keorapetse Kgositsile's Poetry

Sound Effects: Synaesthesia as Purposeful Distortion in Keorapetse Kgositsile's Poetry Tsitsi Jaji There is a long history of cultural affinities between African Americans with their roots in slavery and Jim Crow and South African peoples who suffered from apartheid and its precursors. While the differences between their respective situations were never obscured, the sense of a shared political project was perhaps most marked during the 1960s and 70s when numerous South African exiles in the United States encountered the civil rights movement and cultural nationalism which followed in its wake, most notably in the Black Arts Movement. The question arises, to what extent did the interest in African-American culture and politics translate into distinct aesthetic strategies on the part of South African writers? One answer emerges from an analysis of the poetry of Keorapetse Kgositsile, currently poet laureate of South Africa, and in particular the synaesthesisa that marks his blend of poetry and the African-American musical styles of jazz and soul. As a South African writer who published the bulk of his work in the United States during and after his exile in the United States as an African National Congress (ANC) activist, Kgositsile was closely involved with the Black Arts Movement, and shared its commitment to music http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Comparative Literature Studies Penn State University Press

Sound Effects: Synaesthesia as Purposeful Distortion in Keorapetse Kgositsile's Poetry

Comparative Literature Studies , Volume 46 (2) – Jun 11, 2009

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Penn State University Press
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Copyright © Penn State University Press
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1528-4212
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Abstract

Tsitsi Jaji There is a long history of cultural affinities between African Americans with their roots in slavery and Jim Crow and South African peoples who suffered from apartheid and its precursors. While the differences between their respective situations were never obscured, the sense of a shared political project was perhaps most marked during the 1960s and 70s when numerous South African exiles in the United States encountered the civil rights movement and cultural nationalism which followed in its wake, most notably in the Black Arts Movement. The question arises, to what extent did the interest in African-American culture and politics translate into distinct aesthetic strategies on the part of South African writers? One answer emerges from an analysis of the poetry of Keorapetse Kgositsile, currently poet laureate of South Africa, and in particular the synaesthesisa that marks his blend of poetry and the African-American musical styles of jazz and soul. As a South African writer who published the bulk of his work in the United States during and after his exile in the United States as an African National Congress (ANC) activist, Kgositsile was closely involved with the Black Arts Movement, and shared its commitment to music

Journal

Comparative Literature StudiesPenn State University Press

Published: Jun 11, 2009

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