The Silent Bush-boy: Placing South Africans through Language and Names

  • Elwyn Jenkins

Abstract

Résumé: Dans cet article, Elwyn Jenkins examine la présentation et la description des Boschimans sud-africains dans les romans britanniques du siècle dernier. A l'instar du critique canadien Terry Goldie, il conclut que l'Altérité de l'indigène se manifesto surtout dans le traitement des échanges verbaux entre colonisateurs et colonisés, et qu'en dernière analyse, ce sont bien des marqueurs linguistiques qui inscrivent les valeurs de l'impérialisme dans le texte. Summary: This article examines how "othering" occurs through the handling of language in imaginative literature. Jenkins focuses on nineteenth century Scottish and English writers who depicted British encounters with African "bushmen" in the juvenile fiction which was read throughout the British empire, including Canada. Tracking at writers such as R.M. Ballantyne, A.W. Dray son, Thomas Mayne Reid, and Charles Eden, he asks questions like (1) whether they let the indigenes speak, and in what language (2) whether they name the indigenes and (3) whether they make them into real characters. He contrasts these and other nineteenth century writers with the recent South African historical writer. Jenny Seed, and he shows, as does Canadian critic Terry Goldie (who writes about the image of the indigene in Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand's literature), that imperialism is subtly conveyed through linguistic markers.
Published
2007-12-19
Section
Articles