Original Research

The technique of flashback in selected Northern Sotho literary texts

M.J. Mojalefa, R.S. Phala
Literator | Vol 26, No 2 | a228 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v26i2.228 | © 2005 M.J. Mojalefa, R.S. Phala | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 July 2005 | Published: 31 July 2005

About the author(s)

M.J. Mojalefa, Department of African Languages, University of Pretoria, South Africa
R.S. Phala, Department of African Languages, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Abstract

This article aims at investigating and explaining the application of the technique of flashback in selected Northern Sotho literary texts. Five kinds of flashback are distinguished, namely external retrospection, internal retrospection, mixed retrospection, flashback to complicate events and flashback of similar events. These kinds of flashback have certain and specific functions, such as reminding readers of past events, foregrounding themes of the text, and so on. This technique is evident in a text when ordinary, everyday events turn out to be the key to surprising secrets that are revealed later. Though flashback seems to be similar to foreshadowing (prolepsis) in that both techniques contain features of repetition and the narration of a specific experience, the techniques, however, differ in that flashback focuses on the elements of secrecy, suspense and surprise, and foreshadowing does not. This article also reveals that a relationship between flashback and the structure of detective stories can be indicated.

Keywords

Technique Of Flashback; Kinds Of Flashback; Narrative Technique; Mystery

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