Original Research

Reading the rhetor in postcolonial African fiction: Armah’s Two thousand seasons as an illustration

George Samiselo
Literator | Vol 34, No 1 | a430 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v34i1.430 | © 2013 George Samiselo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 February 2013 | Published: 06 September 2013

About the author(s)

George Samiselo, English Department, University of the Free State, Qwa Qwa Campus, Phuthaditjhaba, South Africa


For some time now, rhetors have steadily gained a firm hold on postcolonial African fiction in various versions of what narratologists designate as extradiegetic narrators. One such guise is the communal voice because of the rhetorical advantages these rhetors enjoy as the centre of social, historical, and political consciousness. Yet, in spite of the rhetors’ pervasiveness in postcolonial African prose, little has been said in African critical practice about these fascinating narrative agents since most of the emphasis has been on canonical African texts – what Lindfors designates as the ‘long drums and canons’. Happily, the end of the twentieth century saw a shift in the concerns of African criticism, bringing narratological criteria to bear on postcolonial African fiction. This article theorises the deployment of the rhetor in Two thousand seasons, arguing that the rhetor is privileged because of the ideological force he assumes and his authoritative point of view. It is intended as a contribution to the study of narratology in the African novel, revealing the significance of the rhetorical strategies that guarantee the future of the rhetor as an agency in postcolonial African fiction. For these reasons, this discussion supports a critical discourse of African texts that is, in Culler’s words,‘a poetics, a study of the conditions of meaning’ in postcolonial African fiction.


No related keywords in the metadata.


Total abstract views: 3182
Total article views: 10156

Crossref Citations

No related citations found.