A negotiated authority: Webs of facticity in Jacob Dlamini's Askari

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Situated as they are in a national context of epistemological and historical contestation, many South African narrative nonfiction texts must include performances of textual authority in order to be read as trustworthy. Such performances usually consist of text producers being seen to source the information they use and to foreground the terms of the text's construction. Can a text be seen as reliable, however, when it exists in a vacuum of reliable sources and without a reliable narrator? This paper argues that within the South African context—in which many narratives are contested and contestable—this is not necessarily so. By analyzing Jacob Dlamini's text about apartheid collaboration, Askari, and particularly its performance of facticity, this paper asserts that textual authority is a function of factors other than the conventional presentation and utilization of reliable sources and/or narrators.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-140
Number of pages14
JournalResearch in African Literatures
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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