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The authority of presence: reading Judith Todd's Through the Darkness as diary.(Critical essay)

Chennells, Anthony

Journal of Literary Studies, March, 2009, Vol.25(1), p.98(17) [Periódico revisado por pares]

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  • Título:
    The authority of presence: reading Judith Todd's Through the Darkness as diary.(Critical essay)
  • Autor: Chennells, Anthony
  • Assuntos: Zimbabwean Writers -- Works ; Zimbabwean Writers -- Criticism And Interpretation ; Autonomy (Political science) -- Portrayals
  • É parte de: Journal of Literary Studies, March, 2009, Vol.25(1), p.98(17)
  • Descrição: Judith Todd's Through the Darkness (2007) is an account of her life in Zimbabwe since independence and is constructed from notes and letters written over the years. The article addresses the implications of Todd's narrative method which at times reads like a diary with the disjunctions, passing references, and more considered observations that characterise the diary as a narrative form. The article argues that these disjunctions convey something of the details of the lived life with its often random thoughts, expected and unexpected encounters, setbacks and achievements and that these slowly begin to be set against the growth of totalitarianism in Zimbabwean politics. Todd's narrative allows her to record slowly, becoming aware of how ruthlessly the party will enforce its authority and how totally it will contain and then eliminate everything that it regards as dissidence. Only by using the narrative method that she has used is Todd able to convey not only her slow disillusionment but to speak with authority about what is happening. Her authority derives from her presence, from the fact that she records nothing that she has not directly experienced. (Author abstract)
  • Idioma: English

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