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Au même titre que les presses des missions, les journaux en langue locale et quelques éditeurs scolaires et universitaires, ces presses ont joué un rôle non négligeable dans le développement de la littérature en langue indigène en Afrique du Sud.Le dévouement du professeur et linguiste Clement Doke n’est certainement pas étranger à leur réputation.
Thus, while Doke’s legacy is usually hailed as a positive one, there has also been criticism of his colonially blinkered and somewhat arrogant approach to the study of language, usually couched in terms of white men imposing their own standards and norms on various African languages.
As Attwell (“Modernizing Tradition” 97) notes, ‘Journals like …
Nonetheless, this case study is revealing of a number of significant trends and patterns in South African publishing from the 1930s until the 1970s.
The Witwatersrand or Wits University Press is South Africa’s oldest university press, founded in 1922.
Using Wits University Press’s Bantu Treasury Series as a case study, this paper seeks to examine the ways in which the texts were mediated by both the series editor and the publisher through the editorial, design, marketing, and sales processes.
In some ways, this is an anomalous case study, as it does not represent the usual output from this publisher.Inspiré alors par la publication de romans d’auteurs sud-africains noirs en anglais, Doke créa la collection afin de permettre à des auteurs de publier dans les langues africaines locales.Cet article se propose d’examiner l’histoire et l’impact de la collection Because it is an international language, and for historical reasons, English is often considered the language of scholarship in South Africa, so this is hardly surprising.As a result, it could be argued that WUP was not itself dedicated to African language publishing from the start, as it was only as late as 1960 that the university press would take over the sales and administration of the Bantu Treasury Series and other books from the Department. Herbert describes, ‘to initiate an intellectual revolution in the study of African languages and in the making and creation of Bantu literature’ (2). The novel was published in English rather than Setswana – indeed, it is often identified as the first novel in English by a black South African author – and Doke is said to have initiated the series in response, to support writing in the African languages.His sense of mission, however, did not abate; rather, it turned to his academic interests, and specifically to African languages. In 1925, Doke’s doctoral work focused on , and in 1931, he was appointed Chair of the Department. In a review of Mr Plaatje has done a good service in writing this., written around 1932, won a prize in 1933 from the International African Institute and was then published.Vilakazi was by this stage already well known for his writing, which had largely been published in African-language newspapers.were overwhelmingly ethnographic in their treatment of black expression with all the attendant problems of othering and ‘fixing’ representations in condescending and ahistorical terms.It is not surprising that black intellectuals would have wished to put as much distance as possible between themselves and such representations.’ There are thus political implications to Doke’s commitment to the development of autonomous literary cultures in the Southern African languages, based on paternalist assumptions about literature and development.He was also becoming increasingly vocal in the struggle against separate development.It is perhaps not surprising, then, that Vilakazi, as an academic at the university, a protégé of Doke’s, and an increasingly well-known author, was the first to be published in the Bantu Treasury Series.