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EDITED BY Andrew van der Vlies



EDITED BY Andrew van der Vlies

Published in South Africa by: Wits University Press 1 Jan Smuts Avenue Johannesburg

Published edition Wits University Press 2012 Compilation Edition editor 2012 Chapters Individual contributors 2012 First published 2012 ISBN 978-1-86814-566-9 (Print) ISBN 978-1-86814-593-5 (Epub) All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the written permission of the publisher, except in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright Act, Act 98 of 1978. Cover images: Death of a Typewriter and Abamfusa Lawu by Willem Boshoff Edited by Alex Potter Cover design and layout by Hothouse South Africa Printed and bound by Creda Communications


Acknowledgements Abbreviations and acronyms

viii xi



Print, Text and Books in South Africa





2.1 Metonymies of Lead: Bullets, Type and Print Culture in South African Missionary Colonialism



Spread Far and Wide over the Surface of the Earth: Evangelical Reading Formations and the Rise of a Transnational Public Sphere: The Case of the Cape Town Ladies Bible Association



Textual Circuits and Intimate Relations: A Community of Letters across the Indian Ocean



3.1 3.2 Deneys Reitz and Imperial Co-option

110 121

Consequential Changes: Daphne Rookes Mittee in America and South Africa



Oprahs Paton, or South Africa and the Globalisation of Suffering





4.1 In (or From) the Heart of the Country: Local and Global Lives of Coetzees Anti-pastoral



Under Local Eyes: The South African Publishing Context of J. M. Coetzees Foe



Limber: The Flexibilities of Post-Nobel Coetzee




5.1 Colin Raes Malaboch: The Power of the Book in the (Mis)Representation of Kgalui Sekete Mmalebh



Send Your Books on Active Service: The Books for Troops Scheme during the Second World War, 19391945



From The Origin of Language to a Language of Origin: A Prologue to the Grey Collection



6.1 6.2 The Image of the Book in Xhosa Oral Poetry

286 306

Written Out, Writing In: Orature in the South African Literary Canon


Not Western: Race, Reading and the South African Photocomic






7.1 The Politics of Obscenity: Lady Chatterleys Lover and the Apartheid State



Deeply Racist, Superior and Patronising: South African Literature Education and the Gordimer Incident



Begging the Questions: Producing Shakespeare for Post-apartheid South African Schools


8.1 The Rise of the Surface: Emerging Questions for Reading and Criticism in South Africa


8.2 8.3

Sailing a Smaller Ship: Publishing Art Books in South Africa


422 437

The University as Publisher: Towards a History of South African University Presses


Contributors Index

449 454



The following chapters are reproduced with permission: Chapters 2.2, Spread Far and Wide over the Surface of the Earth: Evangelical Reading Formations and the Rise of a Transnational Public Sphere: The Case of the Cape Town Ladies Bible Association by Isabel Hofmeyr; 3.3, Oprahs Paton, or South Africa and the Globalisation of Suffering by Rita Barnard; 4.2, Under Local Eyes: The South African Publishing Context of J. M. Coetzees Foe by Jarad Zimbler; and 7.1, The Politics of Obscenity: Lady Chatterleys Lover and the Apartheid State by Peter D. McDonald all first appeared in English Studies in Africa 47(1) (2004). Barnards, Zimblers and McDonalds chapters have been revised by the authors for the present collection. All appear here by kind permission of English Studies in Africa and its editor, Michael Titlestad; Unisa Press; and Taylor & Francis South Africa. Chapter 2.3, Textual Circuits and Intimate Relations: A Community of Letters across the Indian Ocean by Meg Samuelson, is a substantial revision of an essay that was first published as A Community of Letters on the Indian Ocean Rim: Friendship, Fraternity and (Af-filial) Love in English in Africa 31(5) (2008): 2743. It appears with the permission of the editors of English in Africa. Chapter 3.1, Deneys Reitz and Imperial Co-option by John Gouws, is a revision of an essay first published in Books & Empire: Textual Production, Distribution and Consumption in Colonial and Postcolonial Countries, edited by Paul Eggert and Elizabeth Webby, a special issue of the Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand Bulletin 28(12) (2004): 7382. It appears with permission of the editors and BSANZ. Chapter 3.2, Consequential changes: Daphne Rookes Mittee in America and South Africa by Lucy Valerie Graham, was first published under the same title in Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies 10(1) (2009): 4358. It is reprinted by permission of the publisher, Taylor & Francis Ltd, <>. Chapter 4.1, In (or From) the Heart of the Country: Local and Global Lives


of Coetzees Anti-pastoral by Andrew van der Vlies, is a comprehensively rewritten version of a chapter that first appeared in the authors monograph, South African Textual Cultures (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2007). Acknowledgement is made to the publishers for permission to rework this material. Chapter 4.3, Limber: The Flexibilities of Post-Nobel Coetzee by Patrick Denman Flanery, is a substantially revised version of an essay first published in Scrutiny2: Issues in English Studies in Southern Africa 13(1) (2008). It appears with permission of the editor of Scrutiny2, Unisa Press, and Taylor & Francis South Africa. Chapter 5.1, Colin Raes Malaboch: The Power of the Book in the (Mis) Representation of Kgalui Sekete Mmalebh by Lize Kriel, is a revision of an essay first published in the South African Historical Journal 46(1) (2002): 2541. It appears with kind permission of the editor and board of the South African Historical Journal. Chapter 5.2, Send Your Books on Active Service: The Books for Troops Scheme during the Second World War, 19391945 by Archie L. Dick, is a revision of an essay first published in the South African Journal for Librarianship and Information Science 71(2) (2004): 11526. It appears with permission of the editors. Chapter 6.1, The Image of the Book in Xhosa Oral Poetry by Jeff Opland, is a substantial revision of Chapter 14, The Image of the Book in Xhosa Izibongo, from the authors monograph, Xhosa Poets and Poetry (Claremont: David Philip, 1998), pp. 30124. It has been lightly revised and appears with permission of the author. Chapter 6.2, Written Out, Writing In: Orature in the South African Literary Canon by Deborah Seddon, is a revised version of an essay first published in English in Africa 35(1) (2008). It appears by kind permission of the editors of English in Africa. Chapter 6.3, Not Western: Race, Reading and the South African Photocomic by Lily Saint, is a revised and abbreviated version of an essay first published in the Journal of Southern African Studies 36(4) (2010): 93958. It appears by permission of the editor and board of the Journal of Southern African Studies and is reprinted by permission of the publisher, Taylor & Francis Ltd, <>. Chapter 7.3, Begging the Questions: Producing Shakespeare for Postapartheid South African Schools by Natasha Distiller, is a revised version of an essay first published in Social Dynamics 35(1) (2009): 17791. It appears by permission of the editors of Social Dynamics and Taylor & Francis South


Africa. A version of this work appears in the authors Shakespeare and the Coconuts: on post-apartheid South African culture (Wits University Press, 2012). Individual image credits for figures in chapters 5.3 (Twidle), 6.3 (Saint), 7.1 (McDonald), and 8.2 (Law-Viljoen) appear with each image. The authors and editor are grateful to the copyright holders and archives in question for permission to reproduce these images. The editor is grateful to Willem Boshoff for permission to use images of two artworks, Death of a Typewriter and Abamfusa Lawu.

Abbreviations and acronyms


Army Education Services African National Congress British and Foreign Bible Society Books for Troops Committee in Johannesburg Congress of South African Writers In the Heart of the Country Cape Town Books for the Troops Committee Cape Town Ladies Bible Association Dutch East India Company David Krut Publishing Department of Education Federation of South African Trade Unions Gauteng Department of Education London Missionary Society National Library of South Africa Oxford University Press Publications Control Board South African Auxiliary of the British and Foreign Bible Society South African Library Association South African Public Library Stellenbosch Modern and Contemporary University of Cape Town Union Defence Force University of South Africa United States Wits University Press Young Mens Christian Association Young Womens Christian Association Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek




Print, Text and Books in South Africa


In a late chapter in Boyhood (1998 [1997]), the first of J. M. Coetzees fictionalisedor autre-biographical1memoirs, the child protagonist, John (who is based on Coetzee, although not entirely congruent with him), has suggestive encounters with two machines. With his mother and brother, John visits his great-aunt Annie in the Volkshospitaal in Cape Town and stays briefly in the old womans flat in the southern suburbs. Here, in her storeroom, he comes across the book press. Persuading his younger brother to lay his arms in the bed of the press, John turns the screw so that his brothers arms are pinned and he cannot escape, then they reverse roles and, his own arms pinned, John ponders: One or two more turns and the bones will be crushed. What is it that makes them forbear, both of them? (Coetzee 1998, 11819). Immediately after this episode, John remembers visiting a farm near Worcester some years previously, where the brothers had stumbled on a machine for grinding maize. He recalls that he had coaxed his brother similarly into placing his hand down the funnel where the mealie-pits were thrown in, had turned the handle, and, momentarily, before he stopped could feel the fine bones of the fingers being crushed (Coetzee 1998, 119). Coetzees suggestive linking of the press and the grinder associates technologies of temporal and spiritual sustenance: the grinder produces food; the book press had been used to print multiple copies of a squat book in a red binding by his great-grandfather, Annies father (translated from German into Afrikaans by her), with a portentously spiritual title, Deur n gevaarlike krankheid tot ewige genesing, Through a Dangerous Malady to Eternal

Print, Text and Books in South Africa

Healing (Coetzee 1998, 117). The association forged between machines raises the spectre of treachery and cruelty, linking the machinery of the press with an altogether different machine, capable of doing physical harm. (One cannot help but wonder whether Coetzee had Kafkas suggestive story about authority, writing, punishment and complicity, In the penal colony, at the back of his mind.) This is richly suggestive for any study of print cultures in Southern Africa, a region in which (as with other colonial contexts) the arrival of the printing press is linked inextricably with processes that forced autochthonous peoples into difficult encounters with modernityencounters that may have precipitated progress, but that also involved a great deal of psychological and cultural harm. The development of orthographies for regional vernaculars, most often by missionaries intent on conversion, wrought immense changes in the lives of black South Africans. Leon de Kock points out in his essay in this collection how printing and piercing, literacy and lubricity, disinterested information and deadly inculcation are often co-implicated in representations of these processes (52). The passages from Boyhood above reflect on the costs or the potential misuse of such technologies, and also on the implicationsand implicatednessof writing within discourses of power and authority more broadly. These are themes that recur in Coetzees oeuvre too. For example, in Youth (2002), the second of his autre-biographical Scenes from Provincial Life, John is a disaffected computer programmer in London in the 1960s. He also spends time in the British Museums reading room, undertaking research for his thesis supervisor in Cape Town and occasionally allowing
himself the luxury of dipping into books about the South Africa of the old days, books to be found only in great libraries, memoirs of visitors to the Cape like Dapper and Kolbe and Sparrman and Barrow and Burchell, published in Holland or Germany or England two centuries ago (Coetzee 2002, 13637).

John dreams of writing a book about the early years of the Cape, in the vein of Burchells Travels, and ponders how he might give to the whole the aura that will get it onto the shelves and thus into the history of the world: the aura of truth (Coetzee 2002, 138). Is it these encounters, the reader is invited to wonder, that will prompt Johnif indeed he is Coetzeeto write Dusklands a decade later? It should not surprise us that Coetzee so movingly renders characters, existing in some complex relationship to his own younger self, who respond so


strongly to the materiality of booksin Boyhood, John displays close attention to the material appearance of Ewige genesing, noting that it is printed on the thick, coarse paper used for Afrikaans books that looks like blotting-paper with flecks of chaff and fly-dirt trapped in it (Coetzee 1998, 117)and who register the power of print in propagating influential discursive constructions of place (particularly colonial space). Of all South African-born writers and intellectuals of the past half century, Coetzee has been the most astutely and rigorously concerned with the intimate relations between language and power, and in the predicaments of writingin both senses of the word: the stresses under which the literary is placed in periods of political emergency (Coetzee 1988; McDonald 2004) and the implications of those institutions claiming the right to control knowledge, interpretation or expression. Both inevitably involve a concern with the politics of print cultures in South Africaa subject that Coetzee himself tried to teach, albeit briefly, at the University of Cape Town (UCT). In his prospectus for a module entitled The Book in Africa, proposed for 1980, he suggested that students on the course might investigate a number of topics, among them issues specific to local and national book production and consumption (the location of bookstores in the Cape Peninsula and the types of clientele they serve; library services in the black residential areas of the Cape Peninsula; the histories and editorial policies of a selection of South African literary magazines; the publication of childrens books in English, Afrikaans, and African languages in the countryto what extent [are they] South African in conception, authorship, and production[?], Coetzee asked). However, there were also topics with a pan-African and global focus, for example the role of expatriate or multinational publishing houses in Africa or comparisons between mass reading in Britain in the early nineteenth century and among black South Africans in the mid-twentieth century (Coetzee 1980/81). Students would be encouraged to contemplate the seminal changes brought to Africa by the printing press. If we accept (following [Walter] Ong, [Marshall] McLuhan, [Jack] Goody) that print changes modes of thought, Coetzee (1980/81) wrote, then printing can be seen as the agent whereby the world is modernized. The print industry and the print habit become the most important modernizing agents. This, notes Peter McDonald (2012, 801), sounds very like the theses of a number of histories of the effects of the advent of print in Europe published in the 1970slike Elizabeth Eisensteins influential The Printing Press as an Agent of Change (1979), which advanced grand claims for the influence of print on the spread of Enlightenment ideasalthough Coetzee would no doubt have been in sympathy, too, with more recent studies that are less Whiggish

Print, Text and Books in South Africa

in their teleological conspectus (see Johns 1998) and that acknowledge the very different conditions that exist in colonial societies (see Ballantyne 2007). It is, however, noteworthy, McDonald comments, that nowhere in Coetzees course description does he refer to any of the significant studies then beginning to define what scholars now generally refer to as Book History, or History (or Histories) of the Book (I will henceforth refer to book history without the canonising capitals), although most would recognise similarities between Coetzees aims and this interdisciplinary field. Although the module was not offered in the following year (McDonald suggests that this had to do with the conservative literary critical ethos in UCTs English Department and with the relative risk final-year undergraduate students, used to more traditional course models, would likely have ascribed to Coetzees), it is clear that Coetzee was at least an early fellow traveller with a field whose challenges have encouraged a great deal of historical and literary scholarship in the last 30 years (see McDonald 2012, 8003). For the purposes of emphasising not only the contributions to knowledge made by the chapters in this volume, but also their provocationsand their methodological usefulnessfor studies of colonial and post-colonial cultures of script, print and the book more generally, I will linger momentarily on the contours of this field, which has only recently come overtly to affect scholarship about print and text studies in and of South and Southern Africa. * * * One of the early leading thinkers in the emerging field of book historyone of those not cited by Coetzeewas French social historian Roger Chartier. In his essay Laborers and voyagers: From the text to the reader (1992), Chartier manages to state plainly some of the key tenets animating this relatively new scholarly endeavour. Quoting Michel de Certeaus claim in The Practice of Everyday Life that texts only have meaning through readers and that they change as readers bring new expectations and modes of reading to the text, he argues as follows:
Readers, in fact, never confront abstract, idealized texts detached from any materiality. They hold in their hands or perceive objects and forms whose structures and modalities govern their reading or hearing, and consequently the possible comprehension of the text read or heard (Chartier 1992, 50).


A text can therefore never be approached purely as only a semantic field (the view that had, Chartier notes caustically, hitherto dominated not only structuralist criticism in all its variants but also literary theories concerned with reconstructing the modes of reception of works); rather, it is necessary to maintain that forms produce meaning, and that even a fixed text is invested with new meaning and being when the physical form through which it is presented for interpretation changes (Chartier 1992, 5051). The task of the historian, he argues, ought accordingly to be to reconstruct the variations that differentiate the readable space (the texts in their material and discursive forms) and those which govern the circumstances of their actualization (the readings seen as concrete practices and interpretive procedures) (Chartier 1992, 50). Authors do not write books, Chartier (1992, 53) suggests usefully, they write texts which become objects copied, handwritten, etched, printed, and today computerized. Robert Darnton, one of the earliest proponents of book history in North America (although himself primarily a scholar of ancien rgime and Enlightenment French print and book histories), concurs with Chartier: typography as well as style and syntax determine the ways in which texts convey meanings; any history of reading should take account of the ways that texts constrain readers as well as the ways that readers take liberties with texts (Darnton 2002, 21; see also Darnton 1990). The suggestion is that historiansindeed, students of culture generallyought to consider as their proper remit the text itself, the object that conveys the text, and the act that grasps it (Chartier 1989, 161). Theyweneed to ascertain and describe the material form of any text that readers have encountered, to ask how readers encountered it and what they did with it, and to be alert to how this might have changed from one community (and text) to the next (and the next instantiation of a text) over time. It is in the gap between idealised text and materiality, Chartier (1992, 53) insists, that meaning is constructed. Some Anglo-American literary critics who were also textual scholars had in fact been making similar suggestions in the late 1970s and the 1980s. With reference to his own work on Romantic and Victorian poets, for example, Jerome McGann argued that scholars ought to consider not only a literary works historical contexts, but also the history of what he called its textualizations (McGann 1985, 10; cf. McGann 1991, 9). How, scholars like McGann asked, does the text of a canonical nineteenth-century English poem or novel that is studied by university undergraduates in a scholarly edition differ from the text of the novel encountered by its first readers? To the bibliographer and scholarly editors question how is this text different from

Print, Text and Books in South Africa

this one?, critics attuned to what was coming to be known as book history added such questions as how has each instance of publication changed the text and affected the meaning? Also: how has this textwith or without variationbeen rendered a different work by virtue of textual variations, but also through changing format, typography, and different co- or paratexts: those fringes or margins of text, images, or other apparatus (cover, blurbs, dedications, glossaries and so on) that constitute, Grard Genette (1997, 2) argues, a zone not only of transition but also of transaction? Chartier and others in the early wave of influential book historians drew on the methodology of the French Annales school of socio-economic history. A seminal engagement of this school with the history of print came with Lucien Febvre and Henri-Jean Martins 1958 Lapparition du livre, translated as The Coming of the Book: The Impact of Printing 14501800 (1976). The field gained its own scholarly journal, the Revue franaise dhistoire du livre (new series, 1971), and it is worth noting that English has tended to use the form of the direct translation of the French (history and book both in the singular).2 As Robert Darnton (2002, 10), who did so much to bring together AngloAmerican and French bibliographic and historiographic traditions, explains, what these Annales-influenced scholars did was to attempt to uncover the general pattern of book production and consumption over long stretches of time rather than to offer detailed bibliographic analysis. A key call to constitute a break from traditional analytical and descriptive bibliography that had long been a sub-field of literary and historical studies came from an Oxford professor of bibliography and textual criticism, New Zealand scholar Don (D. F.) McKenzie, whose 1985 Panizzi Lectures at the British Library came at a seminal moment in the evolution of book history and helped to constitute the field for a growing number of scholars in the later 1980s. McKenzie (1986, 10) argued that bibliography could not and should not exclude from its own proper concerns the relation between form, function and symbolic meaning. As hitherto undertaken in Britain and the United States in particular, bibliography had often merely described the effects of the technical processes of transmission, he contended, but it should hitherto also consider the relationship between these and the social processes involved (McKenzie 1986, 13). McKenzie memorably showed the ramifications of this kind of analysis in a detailed account of misreadings of Congreve, including, ironically, in Wimsatt and Beardsleys influential essay The intentional fallacy, which had argued (among other things) that the literary scholar should focus on the text itself (and only on the text). Congreves text had become corrupted, McKenzie showed, and


changes in the literal appearance of textof each words relative position in the typographical layout of words on the page in successive editions, excerpts and quotationshad a direct bearing on meaning, something that Wimsatt and Beardsley, for all their attention to the text, had missed. Variations bore on the most obvious concerns of textual criticismgetting the right words in the right order, McKenzie argued; variations suggested the importance of paying attention to the semiotics of print (including the role of typography in forming meaning) and, crucially, reflected significantly on the critical theories of authorial intention and reader response (McKenzie 1986, 21). The important point for McKenzie was to notice how an expanded set of skills, concerns and questions were pushing bibliography in new directions, to what he suggested was perhaps better termed the sociology of texts, a sociology that would allow scholars working with texts to do nothing less than uncover record[s] of cultural change (McKenzie 1986, 13). Others have made similar claims. David Hall, for example, a leading book-history scholar in the United States, suggested that the emerging field was predicated on the assumption that the better we understand the production and consumption of books, the closer we come to a social history of culture (Hall 1996, 1; emphasis added). Using books to tell these kinds of stories has involved considering print not only as produced in a particular society, but as itself a mediating element in cultural life, in Joan Rubins words (2003, 572). Two questions follow: how might such an expansive and ambitious task unfold? and how do these formulations conceive of the book itself? If book history has never been just about books, in the words of Jonathan Rose, a leading historian of reading and popular print cultures in nineteenth-century England, but rather about the social history of the creation, diffusion, and reception of the written (Rose 1994, 462; emphasis added), where does one draw the boundaries that mark the field? Heidi Hackel (2005, 4) offers a note of caution, suggesting that while book history denotes a
general approach, which attends to the material details of the production and consumption of books, it is worth exercising more specificity about the points at which one enters the conversation. Even if the codex, rather than the scroll, is the defining object at the center of this discipline, the story of the book clearly begins before Gutenberg.

Darntons early answer to the question What is the history of books? had been the social and cultural history of communication by print (Darnton 2002, 9; emphasis added). Jonathan Rose and Ezra Greenspan, in their

Print, Text and Books in South Africa

introduction to the first issue of Book History, the scholarly journal associated with the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (the foremost international scholarly and professional society for book history), suggested that the field encompassed the creation, dissemination, and uses of script and print in any medium, which was to say the social, cultural, and economic history of authorship, publishing, printing, the book arts, copyright, censorship, bookselling and distribution, libraries, literacy, literary criticism, reading habits, and reader response (Greenspan & Rose 1998, ix; emphasis added). In its broadest terms, then, a project might be said to be book-historical that is interested in considering the influences of historical, material, social, political, cultural and economic variables on the manifestations of texts of all kinds (whether script or print) as physical objects, and in the implication of these textsin their material embodimentsfor circuits of circulation and use, and fields of cultural validation and contestation through which their meanings are made and remade. The ambition of such a field is impressive, if a little daunting. Scholars in a number of disciplines have in recent years contributed to the field studies of dizzying variety, considering also the imbrication of print and manuscript cultures, the history of printing and bookselling, the emergence of institutions affecting (enabling, but also limiting) publication and reception, and studies of what was actually read by particular classes or communities.3 Hackel (2005, 4) observes that book history as a discipline first developed a critical mass of scholarship in the study of three particular areas: ancien rgime France, the United States in the nineteenth century and early modern Britain; it arose in these periods, she suggested, because they were critical and transitional moments in the means of production, circulation, and consumption of texts. These texts, or those that survive in largest number, were printed ones. As South African scholars Isabel Hofmeyr and Lize Kriel (2006, 14) note, northern-hemisphere book history developed in a context in which the idea of the book has become naturalized. Much of the scholarship hence operates from an unstated and generally commonsensical idea of what a book is. Let us simply note this definitional problem, and also that tensions about the expansiveness of the term book are well recognised within the disciplineor aggregation of disciplines: the history of the book must be international in scale and interdisciplinary in method, Darnton (2002, 22) averred in the early 1980s. Hofmeyr (2001) herself has written insightfully on metaphorical books in an African context. Karin Barber (2001, 13) reminds us that a book produced locally in Africain Onitsha, Accra, bdn, Nairobi, and Dar es Salaammight bear little resemblance to books that a


Westerner might recognise: They merge into booklets and booklets merge into pamphlets and their means of distribution are often like that of other ephemera, printed or otherwise. She has suggested that a useful way to think about book history in Africa is via the concept of printing culture rather than the term print culture, which implies vast and reasonably homogeneous publics interpellated by print commodities. In Africa, printed matter often emerges from small-scale jobbing printers with a limited and variegated reach. While the majority of book-historical work in the modern periodthe moment of African colonialism and afterhas been concerned de facto with print, we shall see in due course that several contributors to this volume are keenly attuned to the difficulty of excluding oral traditions and orature from the field. What, then, about the task of following the journeys taken by books, however loosely defined, and about their effects? Darntons (2002, 11) suggestion was that we might consider what he called those circuits of communication through which printed artefacts typically travel, via multiple agents involved in an extended life cycle that includes authors, publishers, printers (at various times before our current era these might have included compositors, pressmen and warehousemen, but also, for Darnton, suppliers of paper, ink and type), distributors (including agents and representatives), booksellers (including informal tradersnow we might include online sales of physical books as well as digital downloads of electronic ones) and readers (whether intended or not, and whether those choosing to purchase a text or who come by it in another manner). (We might think about how, in Boyhood, Johns great-aunt Annie had her fathers book printed and bound at her own expense, and how she tried unsuccessfully to place it in the bookshops of Cape Town before hawking it door to door [Coetzee 1998, 118]). Darntons influential model was an attempt at providing a structure for what was becoming a crowded interdisciplinary field, drawing together the discrete case study models advanced by textual scholars like McGann and printing historians and erstwhile bibliographers like McKenzie in a capacious framework that ostensibly allowed scholars to locate the objects of their study at different points in an encompassing whole.4 But Peter McDonald and others have suggested that Darntons model privileges different actors functions over their relative status. In 1997 McDonald (111) noted that, just as different publishers are more or less prestigious, each actor in the circuit has a changeable and, indeed, often precarious status relative to his or her immediate competitors and to the field of production as a whole. Here French sociologist Pierre Bourdieus idea of the field of cultural production proved highly useful for McDonald and a number of other theorists and

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historians of the book.5 The literary field, Bourdieu (1993, 42) suggests, is a site of struggles in which what is at stake is the power to impose the dominant definition of the writer. In other words, a series of interconnected cultural and social systems, each with its own hierarchies and overlapping structures of authority and prestige, additionally affect authors and their books in various struggles to determine their works relative cultural status, their cultural capital. Any study of the literary field consequently requires an attempt to reconstruct the space of positions and the space of the position-takings in which they are expressed, Bourdieu argues (1993, 2930). Reconstructing these spaces seemed to many in the field of literary studies to be merely ancillary to the tasks of literary scholarship. One response was to emphasise, as Rose does, a tension between empiricism, on the one hand, and theoretical approaches to text, on the other, and then valorising one or the other. Rose (1994, 462) argues, for example, that while book historians are interested in many of the issues of general literary theoretical concern (including authorship, the canon, readers and reading), they find that the work of [theorists] is based on shaky assumptions, reckless generalizations, and guesswork. Less confrontationally, especially if attuned to the history of the opposition of theory and history in late- and post-colonial contexts like South Africas, one might observe instead that while literary criticism has always been concerned with the meanings of texts, book history is concerned with how these meanings are influenced by factors often beyond the control of authors themselves, with how they are intimately connected with (among other pressures) those exercised by the publishing industry, agents and editors; the ruling discourses of reviewing and the economics of bookselling and advertising; censorship or other kinds of state control or public moral or political pressure; the exigencies of popular reception, serialisation or abridgement (and also educational institutionalisation); the valorising economics of literary prize cultures; and, indeed, academic study. If what is at issue is an imperative to chart and trace the predicaments of text and of the textual (print or otherwise), then, as McDonald (1997, 120 21) suggests, rather than asking what book history can contribute to literary criticism, one might well turn the question on its head and ask what might be the relevance of literary interpretation to book history. Book-historical studies, studies in the cultures of script and print, studies of the institutions of text or of the literary might then be all regarded as offering the prospect of nuanced, responsible accounts of the vagaries of meaning and the contingency of validating categories (including literariness), an account that refuses to accept the assurances of traditional historicism, or to define itself


against reading, criticism and, crucially for McDonald (2003, 241), theory. McDonald (2003, 231) observes that theory and book history both seek in effect to focus on the problematics of dissemination and its implications for classical ideas of close reading: theorists interested in text (implicitly influenced, McDonald suggests, by post-structuralismhe labels them ahistorical textualists) seemed to have squared up, in one understanding of what might be thought of as a literary culture war in the 1980s and 1990s, against bibliographers and literary sociologists (historical documentalists) without acknowledging their shared concerns. The point, McDonald (2003, 232) concludes, is to recognise that an interest in the literary need not exclude a concern with the material, and vice versa. The point is, in his words,
not to celebrate the document at the expense of writingin Derridas sense of the termbut to study its attempts to contain the disruptive forces of dissemination, and, in so doing, to make publishing history the foundation of a larger history of reading (McDonald 2003, 232).6

McDonald expands on this in a 2006 essay, offering a description of disparate responses not to the general question of the nature of textuality and dissemination, but to the question of literariness itself in the wake of what he calls theorys successful bid for hegemony (McDonald 2006, 215) in literary and cultural studies. His complex argument hinges on revisiting Derridas much-quotedeven notoriousclaim [i]l ny a pas de hors-texte, which McDonald notes has been translated variously as [t]here is nothing outside of the text (by Gayatri Spivak in 1976) and [t]here is no outside-the-text (by Derek Attridge in 1992) (McDonald 2006, 222). Hors-texte, McDonald (2006, 223) notes in an original departure, is, however, also a technical bookmaking term roughly translated as plate (as in This book contains five color plates)hence Derrida is here indulging in a pun that invokes this meaning alongside hors-texte (or outside-the-text), his play on words (or on a hyphen). McDonald (2006, 223) here draws our attention to Derridas lively bibliographic imagination, suggesting that the notorious statement announced neither a triumphant nor a culpable break with history. It is worth quoting McDonald fully further:
The play on words inventively underscored Derridas sustained commitment to putting in question received assumptions about what is outside and what is thought to be inside writing. As the literal rendering suggests (There are no plates), the idea that there is a secure division

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between, say, illustrations and the main text is an illusion fostered by the materiality of the book (e.g., by the use of special high-quality paper for the plates). Since illustrations, like paratexts, frame writing (or vice versa) and since writing has a capacity to exceed all frames, there can be no assured sense of where the text proper begins or ends. Understood in this way, Derridas playful pun illustrates how his thinking connects rather than separates theorists and book historians by pointing to their shared interest in radically rethinking the idea of the book (McDonald 2006, 223).

For Derrida, in other words, it was never a question of the text over the book, but rather an understanding that the text always already impliesand requires attention toits implicatedness in a material instantiation, or at least in a context that makes any interpretation of [i]l ny a pas de hors-texte as a refusal of relation fatuous. * * * The redeployment of printing terminology serves in a different context to highlight another long-running tension between theory and materiality although in this case it is the terms unwitting polyvalence that is useful, and the tension is less diffused than in other regionally or period-centred fields of study. Isabel Hofmeyr and Sarah Nuttall contextualise their comments about the pressing urgency for a more material engagement with the text in postcolonial literary studies (hitherto too dependent on a markedly abstract notion of text) through reference to Homi K. Bhabhas use of the word stereotypedefined by him as an ambivalent strategy by which colonizers pathologically re-iterate their simultaneous dread of and desire for the colonized (Hofmeyr & Nuttall 2001, 3, quoting Bhabha 1994, 8182). Stereotype, however, has another meaning, Hofmeyr and Nuttall note, in a move not unlike McDonalds re-reading of Derrida. This other meaning derives from the world of nineteenth-century printing where a stereotype is a plaster-of-paris, papier-mach or metal mould taken from a hand-composed page of metal type thereby allowing the page to be broken up and the type to be used elsewhere (Hofmeyr & Nuttall 2001, 3). There is mileage in exploring the resonances of the latter meaning for the former: both text and print facilitated anthropological knowledge, on which colonial authority drew to facilitate its rule over those it interpellated as its others. Print facilitated orthographic reduction and proselytising intrusion, serving the spread of


Western education and religion and reducing the native to a type whose common traits were no less recognisable to the European than the words and letters describing him capable of being repeatedendlessly, literally and metaphoricallythrough stereotyping and metal stereotype. Print and power, in other words, are inextricably co-imbricated. Throughout the 1990s, materialist critics of the textual idealism of colonial discourse analysisof what Stephen Slemon and Helen Tiffin (1989, x) call its flight into a domain of pure textualitybegan themselves to call for assessments of the material conditions of cultural production and consumption in post-colonial societies (Ashcroft, Griffiths & Tiffin 1995, 463). By the time these editors of the 1995 Post-Colonial Studies Reader came to revise the collection for a second edition, published in 2006, they could include a number of extracts from studies of just these processes and operations (including from Graham Huggans important 2001 The Postcolonial Exotic; see Ashcroft, Griffiths & Tiffin 2006, 397425), including engagements with the history of the multiple textual embodiments of literary works and with the history of their reception and commodification. Bruce King (1996, 18) had echoed these calls, writing in the mid-1990s that attention needed to be paid to actual social contexts, cultural networking, and literary careers of writers. And these writers came to include those Homi Bhabha and Edward Said had not been interested in uncoveringthat is, those whose textual production contested Orientalist inscription, those who did not merely mimic and conform to stereotype (however ambivalent and fractured Bhabha allowed for these to be). Priya Joshi (2002, 13), for example, in her study of the novel in British India, comments that Saids Orientalism, while doubtless transformative for the study of colonialism, was curiously silent on the responses and resistances to the totalizing practices of the metropole occurring on the ground during the colonial encounter. Said and others following him paid little attention to the reception of colonial representations that formed the basis of study for colonial discourse analysis. Gauri Viswanathans Masks of Conquest and Anne McClintocks Imperial Leather likewise overlook key aspects of textual consumption and circulation among the subjects of empire, Joshi (2002, 13) contends. In the 1990s others had noted the problems with homogenising tendencies in post-colonial theory (and the dominance of South Asia or the Middle East as focus in much theorising) and with its appropriation in the South African academy. Writing in 1997, in a now famous assessment, Nick Visser (1997, 89) noted that scholarly work on South Africas various literatures had focused much on discursive practices and conditions and little on material

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and social conditions and political praxis. Vissers intervention might be viewed as a hostile Marxist reading of post-structuralism, but he here echoes widespread critiques of silences in post-colonial studies (informed by post-structuralism) that appeared more interested in uncovering traces of ambiguity, inconsistency and ambivalence in colonial discourse itself than in offering nuanced historical work on the conditions of production of the texts that had come to form a growing canon of post-colonial literatures. Robert Young (1995, 163) countered some of these critiques of postcolonial studies by arguing that to suggest that a certain textualism and idealism in colonial-discourse analysis had taken place at the expense of materialist historical enquiry was in fact to commit a form of category mistake: investigations of the discursive construction of colonialism do not (or need notsome clearly do) exclude other forms of analysis, he wrote. In 2001, in his magisterial history of post-colonialism, Young (2001, 7) argued that it typically combined orthodox Marxist critiques of objective material conditions with detailed analysis of their subjective effects, contributing significantly to what he called the growing culturalism of contemporary political, social and historical analysis. But while there is a broadly recognised attention to the material in post-colonial studies, it is still true that nuanced book-historical analysis is less often found, either as freestanding case history or as a supporting component of analysis. In situating his own work, David Attwell (in his 2005 study of black South African engagements with print and modernity) quotes, with appreciation, some of Youngs defensive formulation. Attwell (2005, 21) argues that his own approach occupies a niche somewhere between Marxism and what has been called culturalism, and he refuses to see these positions as opposed. His own study, he argues, offers an archival emphasis (together with emphasis on narrative and thick description) in order to [participate] in the critique and correction of early developments in postcolonial theory, when there may have been a tendency to homogenise and globalise the description of colonial and postcolonial cultures (Attwell 2005, 21). If colonial and post-colonial book-historical scholarship has been comparatively slow to develop and if post-colonial studies have only relatively recently taken account of the co-implication of the material and the discursive in textual and cultural analysis, the early twenty-first century saw the consolidation of vibrant communities of scholars of Antipodean, South Asian and Canadian book histories in particular, and well-developed national book and publishing history projects in Australia and Canada (with similarities and differences from those in the United Kingdom and United


States).7 Several related conferences outside metropolitan Europe and North America have taken place on related themes. Robert Frasers Book History through Postcolonial Eyes (2008) presented itself as a primer for the field, and his and Mary Hammonds double-volume Books without Borders project (2008) collected a number of essays by emerging and established scholars working on post-colonial and transnational book history topics.8 The Oxford Companion to the Book (2010) made an admirable attempt at global inclusiveness, with important survey essays on a number of post-colonial contexts.9 There is a consensus that literary studies in South Africa suffered for much of the middle of the twentieth century from a stranglehold of new critical impulses interested in the text alone rather than its material forms or multiple uses. Literary scholarship was, in Sarah Nuttalls (2002, 283) words, long badly served by a mixture of belles-lettristic and New Critical formative pedagogical influences that paid little attention to the materiality and context of texts. Work on South African topics from a broadly bookhistorical methodological perspective has, however, also gathered pace over the last decade. For many, an understandable focus has been with economic and political challenges to local educational and indigenous-language publishing, or with charting what is actually being published and purchased in the country (see Seeber & Evans, 2000; Land, 2003; Galloway 2002a; 2002b; 2004; Galloway & Venter, 2004; 2006). There are also studies of reading formations in Southern Africa that explore how racial and ethnic identities have been interpolated (and interpellated) by and variously implicated in the multiple uses of literacy and reading in projects of local and national identification and by growing consumer cultures. Here work by Hofmeyr (1993; 2001), Archie Dick (2004a; 2004b; 2006; 2008) and Sarah Nuttall (1994; 2004), among others, has been especially important (see also Kruger & Shariff, 2001; Laden 2001). Patrick Harries (2001; 2007), Leon de Kock (1996), Rachael Gilmour (2006) and others have extended a sense of the uses of printing and the book in the mission field (about which more to follow).10 Several special issues of local South African academic journals have spoken to book-historical concerns: an issue of African Research and Documentation on Reading Africa (2000); Hofmeyr and Nuttalls issue of Current Writing (2001) broadly concerned with The Book in Africa; Hofmeyr and Kriels issue of the South African Historical Journal (2006) making a case for the development of lively interdisciplinary areas of research in South Africa; my special issue of English Studies in Africa, Histories of the Book in Southern Africa (2004), which focused on the textual conditions and transnational institutions of literariness influencing the lives of books from the country;

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Isabel Hofmeyr and Archie Dicks issue of Innovation (2007); and John Gouwss issue of English in Africa (2008), which included papers from a conference on Orality, Manuscript and Print in Colonial and Post-colonial Cultures held in Cape Town in 2007 (see Gouws 2008). My own monograph on the construction of the idea of a South African literature in English, which was offered as a series of case studies of the publication and reception histories of works regarded as canonical in the Anglophone South African academy (from Schreiners The Story of an African Farm onwards), appeared in 2007. Peter McDonalds detailed and illuminating investigation of the effects of censorship on South African literary cultures during the apartheid era, The Literature Police, appeared in 2009. There is, however, still relatively little work, considering the extraordinary richness of the field. The present volume draws together representative work by some of the labourers hitherto in this field, from South Africa and abroad, and from a variety of disciplines. Some of these essays appeared (many substantially revised, some rewritten) in one of the special issues, collections or monographs cited above, or in other scholarly journals in a number of fields. Others are original essays suggesting new directions for a field whose theoretical breadth is energising. The coverage is not exhaustive, because this is not a history of the book in South Africa. It is, rather, a collection of material as fascinating and diverse as it is suggestive of methodologieshistorical, historiographic, bibliographic, literary critical, cultural studies, sociologicalthat might be applied to new research in all of the areas not covered in this reader. The chapters have been grouped in terms of coverage and theoretical application according to several shared characteristics or objects of focus: print cultures and colonial public spheres; South African literatures in the global imaginary; three encounters with books by J. M. Coetzee; questions of the archive and the uses of books; orature, image, print; ideological exigencies and strategies of coercion; and new directions. These I will discuss in turn in the remainder of this introduction, putting their contributions to the field in the context of the histories of print culture in the region. This contextualisation necessitates a brief consideration of the beginnings of print in South Africa.

While we do not know when the first printed text arrived in South Africa (was it borne ashore by an early Portuguese visitor, perhaps, or even by an earlier Chinese navigator, or washed ashore after a shipwreck?), we do know that the printing press itself arrived relatively late: the first, by common agreement,


was operated by Johann Christian Ritter (17551810), who had arrived at the Dutch-run settlement in Cape Town in 1784 to work for the Dutch East India Company (DEIC) as a bookbinder. The governing body of the DEIC, the Lords Seventeen, approved Ritters list of required materials for a complete printing office on 28 June 1794 (Smith 1971, 12). Ritter subsequently printed several miscellanea on a small hand press; a fragment of part of an almanac for 1796 is the earliest surviving item (Smith 1971, 14). Despite petitioning for the post of printer to the (now British colonial) government, that post went first to H. H. Smith in 1799, before Sir George Yonge briefly awarded a monopoly on printing to the firm of Walker and Robertson in July 1800. But after its self-styled Government Printing Office was taken over by the authorities in October 1801 (the firm had dared to issue a newspaper, The Cape Town Gazette, and African Advertiser/Kaapsche Stads Courant, en Afrikaansche Berichter, in August 1801), H. H. Smith became printer (see Smith 1971, 1122),11 while Ritter remained a bookbinder (Rossouw 1987, 131, 66). For almost the next quarter of a century, the only printing presses in the Cape were that of the Government Printing Office controlled by the colonial administration; in Graaff-Reinet (more on which later), and those run by the mission stations. Among the early commercial printing pioneers at the Cape was George Greig (17991863), who ran a printing business in Cape Town from 1823 to 1835. Greig borrowed an old press from the London Missionary Societys (LMS) superintendent, John Philip (the LMS had two presses, which had arrived in 1814 and 1819), before acquiring his own and publishing the first issue of The South African Commercial Advertiser on 7 January 1824, beginning a struggle over freedom of the press in the Cape Colony that saw him forced to sell his press to the government and leave to pursue his case in London. He finally returned in August 1825 with permission to resume printing the Advertiser (Rossouw 1987, 70, 69; Smith 1971, 3245). William Storey Bridekirk (c17961843), who had arrived at the Cape in 1817 and worked in the Government Printing Office before opening his own stationery and bookbindery on Longmarket Street, appears to have bought the presses that Greig was forced to sell in 1824 (Smith 1971, 40). With the encouragement of the authorities, Bridekirk briefly published his own newspaper, The South African Chronicle and Mercantile Advertiser, until late December 1826 (Smith 1971; Rossouw 1987, 18). Another early pioneer influenced more directly by Greig was Louis Henri Meurant, a farmers son from Berne, Switzerland, who had trained as a printer with Greig in Cape Town in 1823 (Smith 1971, 3335). In 1830 Meurant

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bought at an auction in Graaff-Reinet a press that had a long history in the colony: it had been given by one Rutt, printer at the Kings Printing House in Shacklewell, London, to two of his former employees, Thomas Strongfellow and Robert Godlonton, who had joined one of the settler parties to the Eastern Cape in 1819. The press arrived with Strongfellow and Godlonton in Algoa Bay (now Port Elizabeth/Nelson Mandela Metro) aboard the Chapman in 1820, only to be impounded by the colonys acting governor, Sir Rufane Donkin. A press was considered potentially subversive, the nerves of the colonial authorities having been exercised by Greigs, Thomas Pringles and John Fairbairns agitation for a free press. The confiscated press was sent to Graaff-Reinet, where it was occasionally used to run off government notices, before being sold at auction once the principle of the free press had been established for the colonies (in 1827). In 1839 Meurant sold the press and the newspaper he had established (and which he printed on it) to the very same Godlonton with whom it had arrived in the country nearly two decades earlier (Gordon-Brown 1979, 711; see also Rossouw 1987, 102, 47). For missionaries, active in South Africa since the 1730s, printing was essential for evangelising. LMS missionaries Dr J. T. van der Kemp and J. Read, at Graaff-Reinet from May 1801, are generally regarded as having been responsible for the first printing in South Africa outside of Cape Town (Smith 1971, 53). Their earliest publications, a spelling book and spelling table, have not survived. Scholars also merely accept the account of a catechism printed in a Khoisan language (Wilhelm Bleek lists it as Tzitzika Thuickwedi mika khwekhwenama, or Principles of the word of God for the Hottentot nation) at Bethelsdorp (near present-day Port Elizabeth) in 1803 or 1804 (Smith 1971, 54). The LMSs Robert Moffat (17951883) is remembered for printing texts in Setswana at Kuruman in the Northern Cape on a cumbersome iron printing press that had arrived in Cape Town in October 1825 and been allocated to Moffat in 1831 by the LMSs superintendent in South Africa, John Philip. It would be in use at the Kuruman station until the early 1880s (Bradlow 1987, 9, 11; Fraser 2008, 79). Moffat had printed a Bechuana Spelling and Reading Book in London in 1826. His Setswana translation of the Bible appeared in 1857; the press also produced numerous tracts, periodicals, spelling books, catechisms and hymnals (Bradlow 1987, 19; Smith 1971, 5457). Among the Scottish missionaries, Rev. John Ross and Rev. John Bennie operated a Ruthven press at Tyume (Chumie), later Lovedale, near Alice in the Eastern Cape from December 1823 (Smith 1971, 57). The press at Lovedale printed Bennies A Systematic Vocabulary of the Kaffrarian Language in 1820 (Bradlow 1987, 10). The Methodists started printing after the Presbyterians,


but soon made up for it with their productivityin Grahamstown from 1833 and thereafter at Fort Peddie (Bradlow 1987, 5960; Rossouw 1987, 174). There were a number of other Wesleyan presses in the eastern Cape Colony from the early 1830s, run by such missionary printers as William Binnington Boyce (noted grammarian active in the eastern Cape 183043, and responsible for a[n isiXhosa] Grammar of the Kaffir Language, published in Grahamstown in early 1834, with an expanded 1844 edition printed in London), James Archbell, John Ayliff (who later founded what became Healdtown Institute and compiled an isiXhosa vocabulary that was published in London in 1846), and John Whittle Appleyard (arrived 1839, remembered for his influential isiXhosa grammar, The Kafir Language) (Gordon-Brown 1979, 5657; Gilmour 2006, 7377, 9596). Gilmour (2006, 111) has written engagingly about the complicated manoeuvring in print by Methodist grammarians whose approach relied to a large extent upon the seemingly problematic task of removing the language from its cultural context, demonstrating that the complexities of the Xhosa language suggested that the Xhosa people could be Christianised, but not that they were inherently noble (as they had earlier been seen) (Gilmour 2006, 73). Print made the circulationand political usefulnessof such readings immensely influential. Smith and Rossouw have noted the spread of printing through the rest of the colony and into Natalthe first recorded occurrence is in 1844 in Pietermaritzburg (Smith 1971, 93)and what became the Orange Free State (1846, Wesleyan Mission press at Platberg) (Rossouw 1987, 174) and Transvaal republics (1862 at Potchefstroom) (Rossouw 1987, 16; see further Smith 1971, 8290 on the Cape, 9199 on Natal, 1014 on the Orange Free State, and 10531 on the Transvaal). Print culture pre-emptedone might even say largely predetermined the outcome ofpitched battles over identity and subjectivity in Southern Africa: the reduction of extreme heterogeneity into varieties of difference able to be compassed by technologies of understanding, control and ultimately conversation (and the performance of civility) was in one way or another dependent on printand what print is seen to make possible. Literacy and behind it the widespread introduction of print culture, Leon de Kock suggests in his contribution to this volume (54), was at the centre of colonisation in South Africa. In nineteenth-century colonial South Africa, the introduction and spread of print was not without physical and metaphorical battles, and the battles not without casualties: De Kock deploys an anecdote about the melting of lead type from the press at the Lovedale mission in the Eastern Cape to make bullets for colonial forces during one of the brutal frontier wars

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against the Xhosain this case, the War of the Axe, 184647as a symbolic event that speaks redolently of the imbrication of violence and text (52; see also De Kock 1996, 31). De Kocks essay guides us through some of the key moments of missiondirected printing in Southern Africa, among them Van der Kemp and the Glasgow Missionary Societys John Ross, who brought a Ruthven press with him to the Cape Colony in 1823. De Kock argues that missionary uses of the printing press paved the way for the forging, out of a diverse heterocosm of cultural identities, of a recognisably modernalthough fractured and contestedpublic sphere. Invoking Benedict Andersons much-quoted idea that nations are imagined communitiesalthough De Kock notes it might be more appropriate in the case of South Africa to refer to the imagination of a colonial proto-nationin whose self-conceptualisation print culture acts as a key technology, strategy and mode of expression, De Kock suggests that in colonial South Africa, the introduction of print enabled a medial convergence, a technological axis in whose versatile embrace all parties in an otherwise Babelesque swirl of incommensurability couldtheoretically both speak and be heard across time and space (50). Thus, while it might now be routine to argue that the history of print culture represents a turning point in the history of South African modernity, a midpoint in the larger history of colonisation and modernisation in the region (50), it cannot be gainsaid that the spread of print was vitally important in the difficult emergence of South Africa as a modern state. While some responses to the coming of print involved oppositionality, others were more complicated and nuanced. De Kocks essay builds on his generalisations to develop a case study focusing on the experience of Tiyo Soga, the first ordained black missionary minister in South Africa, charting the implications of the contested relationship Sogas writings and life (as represented by subsequent mission activity as exemplary) present for the forms of subjectivity and agency into which the mission experience compelled him. Here De Kock reprises an interest in some of his earlier work in the hybrid potentialities of such complex and multiply aligned figures, and in their suggestiveness for understanding the development of black African nationalism in South Africa. In Sitting for the civilization test, De Kock (2001, 392) attempted to present, as a polemical alternative to what he characterised as the by now ritualized invocation of oppositionality in discussions of the post-colonial, evidence of desired identification with the colonizing culture as an act of affirmation, a kind of publicly declared struggle that does not oppose the terms of a colonial culture, but insists instead on a


more pure version of its originating legitimation. Many black South Africans, De Kock (2001, 403) continued,
did not fight not to become colonial subjects, they fought to become colonial subjects in the public realm, the res publica, in the fullest possible sense, and they did so in the image of unalloyed imperial promise. In the process they sought to hold to eternal shame the shoddy colonial compromises inflicted in the name of the civil imaginary.

Soga provides De Kock with an opportunity to test his claim that, in many cases in the history of colonial and proto-post-colonial South African history in which print cultures can be said to have been a vehicle for the development of a multivalent public sphere, it is precisely the conflictual, oppositional quality of colonial subjectivity, allegorized as a universal factor by Bhabha, that is downplayed by native subjects in their embracing of the undarkened ideals of civil community in the colonial mirror (De Kock 2001, 4045). De Kock continues to promote groundbreaking work on the structure and performativity of the public sphere in South Africa (see, for example, De Kock 2010). It is the process of conceptualising such a public sphere across national boundaries and in a late colonial period that is the subject of the next essay in the collection, by Isabel Hofmeyr, who over the past three decades has been perhaps the leading instigator and senior scholar of South African print culture studies. Among her chief interests has been the circulation of print through and across transnational spaces, which in the process have been reconceptualised for readers. It has long been a critical commonplace that nations are in some senses imagined into being, that they depend for their existence on an apparatus of cultural fictions (Brennan 1990, 49). All manner of print culture has played a vital part in the building of this apparatus. Yet there has hitherto been relatively little consideration of the role of traffic in texts across national or colonial borders in the formation of post-colonial national literary and cultural identities. These boundaries, understood as encoding the opposition of centre and periphery, metropole and margin, imperial capital and colony, as well as the hierarchies of political and cultural value they are taken to represent, were once crucial to the structure of discourse about post-colonial studies. But they have increasingly been revised and rendered problematic by scholarship that explores what Elleke Boehmer and Bart Moore-Gilbert (2002, 12) called the thick empirical sense of postcoloniality as an interactive horizontal web, a global network of transverse interactions. The entire imperial framework becomes from this perspective

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at once decentred and multiply centred, Boehmer (2002, 6) writes in a study of links and relationships between and among anti-imperial and proto-postcolonial writers and activists. It becomes, too, one in which imperial subjects did not always view themselves as an audience or readership narrowly limited by their residence, wherever that may have been. Isabel Hofmeyr (2004b, 4) has argued that the study of cultures of the book in Africa, [e]merging as it does in a postnationalist moment, is well placed to capitalise on new conceptualisations of the relationships among centres and peripheries. She has suggested, too, that book history is inherently transnational: books are
intended to circulate widely. Their portability extends their reach. Printers and their technologies have proved equally mobile. While a fashion for national histories of the book might have obscured some of this mobility, book history is an ideal site from which to explore themes of transnationalism (Hofmeyr 2010, 107).

In tracking the curious afterlives of African-language translations of Bunyans Pilgrims Progress in her 2004 monograph, The Portable Bunyan, Hofmeyr (2004a, 25) showed how
we have to keep our eye on the text as a material object. This procedure is necessary in order to bring to light the intricate circuits along which texts are funneled rather than the route we imagine or anticipate they might traverse. One such presupposition is that texts tread predictable paths, namely from Europe to Africa, north to south, metropole to colony. With regard to The Pilgrims Progress, the commonsense temptation is to imagine the text traveling this route, diffusing outwards from the imperial center to the furthest reaches of empire, with apparently little consequence for the context from which it emanated.

The essay by Hofmeyr in this volume joins her other scholarship in providing a model for this kind of work. It argues that the missionary publishing projects of nineteenth-century Southern African Protestant evangelical organisations, like the Cape Town Ladies Bible Association, provide vivid and suggestive instances of how transnational communities were imagined by influential actors in the spread of one important kind of print culture. She questions a tendency that regards broad social processes like imperialism, Christian missionary activity and so on as transnational (75) while simultaneously


conceptualising of individual colonial subjects as strictly and only bound by identification with the local (and the proto-national). Instead, Hofmeyr argues, those involved in transnational organisations formulated ways of reading to support and give substance to their view of a worldwide network of readers (75), one with shared supranational characteristics and affiliations. Hofmeyrs recent work in this vein (2008; 2010) has examined print cultures that traverse lines of affiliation across and around the Indian Ocean rim, establishing a web of interrelationships and spheres of shared languages and identifications. She argues that these public spheres are to be seen constituted in the cross-cutting diasporas found between the 1880s and First World War in ports along the east coast of Africa, the coasts of the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal, Ceylon/Sri Lanka, western Australia, and the islands of the Indian Ocean, and the intellectual links among these diasporas, based particularly around ideas of social reform and religious revivalism (Hofmeyr 2010, 108). Referring to the huge volume of circulated material, from India, Egypt and elsewhere throughout and around the ocean rim, Hofmeyr (2010, 108) suggests that this expansive tracing of circuits of trade and affiliation unsettles at least one deeply seated assumption in studies of book history, namely that a printed document is necessarily a commodity situated in a network of commercial and capitalized relations. What studying traffic across and around the Indian Ocean allows, she suggests, is a view of a world of relations equally dependent on philanthropy, commerce, craft and mechanization (Hofmeyr 2010, 108). The portability of books routinely extends their reach; if a fashion for national histories of the book might have obscured some of the complex examples of extreme mobility Hofmeyr has made such fine work of tracking (this includes her work on the African afterlives of Bunyans Pilgrims Progress), book history offers us an ideal site from which to explore themes of transnationalism, she contends (Hofmeyr 2010, 107). Meg Samuelsons work on Indian Ocean imaginaries shares this impulse to shift attention from centreperiphery studies to the axis of SouthSouth relations. Her essay in this volume considers the case of an extraordinary epistolary and print exchange among three remarkable individuals from South Africa and India in the late 1920s and 1930s: V. S. Srinivasa Sastri, the first agent of colonial India in South Africa; Marie Kathleen Jeffreys, an archivist in the Cape Town Archives; and P. Kodanda Rao, Sastris personal secretary. Jeffreys attended a lecture given by Sastri in Cape Town in November 1928 and was thrown into turmoil by an encounter with an Indian who did not conform to her imperial(ist) stereotype. Rao accompanied Sastri on his 192829 visit to South Africa, and subsequently entered into a long-running correspondence

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and friendship with Jeffreys. Encouraged by their correspondence, Jeffreys embarked on a project of intensive research on India, her letters reporting on her reading of everything from accounts by retired Raj administrators to racy and entertaining tales (95). While at first informed by a conceptualisation of India as peripheral and subservient within the British empire, what Samuelson calls a North-South axis feeding studies of India into the Cape Town library system, the JeffreysRao correspondence allowed this white South African to bypass the North, engaging in (and fostering) an alternative SouthSouth axis of textual circulation (95). Samuelsons sophisticated use of archival material explores how this exchange participated in the textual production of a public sphere in and between these countries in the late-imperial period. Prompted in large measure by her Indian correspondents, Jeffreys went on to produce a number of important essays on the creole nature of South African cultures, which Samuelson discusses elsewhere (2007). Samuelsons work points towards a more nuanced understanding of the history of the imagining of South Africa as a plural place, marked by creolized cultures, and one that has long been enriched by the coming of those marked by a dominant discourse as strangers. In a recent essay, Hofmeyr (2010, 11214) makes mention of the spread of press ownership among members of Durbans Indian community at the turn of the twentieth century: Tamil journalist P. S. Aiyar launched three newspapers, Indian World (1898), Colonial Indian Times (18991901) and African Chronicle (190821; 192930), in Tamil and English; Osman Ahmed Effendi ran Durbans first Muslim newspaper in Durban, Al-Islam, between 1907 and 1910, and followed this with Indian Views (1914), both papers appearing in English and Gujarati; Gandhi himself launched a newspaper, Indian Opinion, in 1903, later to be run by his son, Manilal, from the time of Gandhis departure from South Africa in 1914 until the 1960s. Both Hofmeyrs and Samuelsons engagements with Indian Ocean imaginaries suggest the range of work that still remains to be done in this fascinating areaand in the area of print cultures in minority diasporan languages and cultures in South Africa itself. In relation to South Africas Islamic communities, for example, Shamil Jeppie, who has been so engaged with the preservation of Timbuktus rich manuscript heritage (including in a project funded in part by the South African government; see Jeppie and Diagne [2008]), has written about some South African Muslims cultures of print (Jeppie 2007, 4562). Muhammed Haron (2001) has brought to wider attention the rich history of Islamic libraries, especially in the Western Cape. In similar vein, Saarah Jappie has explored a twentieth-century Cape Town imams library (2009). But much


else remains to be done, as it does in the field of publishing in Yiddish and Hebrew. South Africas first Yiddish newspaper, Der Afrikaner Israelit (The African Israelite), a weekly published in Johannesburg, appeared for a period of only six months in 1890 (Poliva 1961, 17; 1968, 56).12 Der Kriegstaphet (The war dispatch), the first Yiddish daily, appeared in Cape Town for less than three months in late 1899 (Poliva 1961, 7). Most other papers serving a Jewish readership (in English or Yiddish) were equally short-lived, and when Joseph Poliva compiled his list of such periodicals in the early 1960s, only one still appeared to be running, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency Bulletin, which had appeared since 1948 (twice weekly, then five times a week after 1953). South African Jewry was among the wealthiest diasporic Jewish communities globally at least until the 1960s (Segal 1963, 17); a nuanced study of the communitys engagement with print culture in the region would no doubt be illuminating. So too would work on the lives of books brought to the country by other of its many immigrant communities (to name only a few: Greek and Greek-Cypriot, Lebanese, Lusophone, Taiwanese, and former Yugoslav). * * * The interest evident in Hofmeyrs and Samuelsons essays in the complex transnational energies at play in the circulation of print and text leads us naturally to the interest shared, in the essays included in the section of this volume that follows, in the effect on texts of variously construed local and global imaginaries, and in the fates of texts that are subject to transnational reading practices and that confrontand evokenew and different affective relations, sometimes in and through different textual guises. John Gouws (Chapter 3.1) considers the publication and reception contexts of an influential memoir by a leading post-Anglo Boer War Afrikaner icon, Deneys Reitz. Herinneringen van den Engelschen Oorlog 18991902 was completed in 1903, during Reitzs exile in Madagascar. The published text of Reitzs Commando: A Boer Journal of the Boer War (1929) differed in several crucial respects and, as Gouws argues, the memoirs textual history offers an interesting instance not so much of how authors books change empires, but of how empires and the demands they make on those who negotiate their self-understood lives within them change authors and their books (119). Between these two publication dates, Reitz had become involved in the project of endorsing and promoting the vision of Louis Botha, the Union of South Africas first prime minister and another Anglo-Boer War veteran, for a unified (white) dominion. Gouws shows how the textual revisions Reitz made

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after 1924, when J. B. M. Hertzog came to power and began the promotion of Afrikaner nationalism, actively work to promote reconciliation between white English speakers and Afrikaners. The changes, he argues, balance local and imperial perspectives and imperatives, and, in tracing them, Gouws seeks to demonstrate how such close attention to text remains constitutive of one important strand of book-historical method. Lucy Grahams essay (Chapter 3.2) considers some of the consequential changes made to different editions of an important and too-often overlooked mid-twentieth-century South African novel, Mittee by Daphne Rooke (1951)the most popular South African writer in America in the 1950s, Graham notes (121). The first British edition of the novel included a scene in which a black man rapes a black servant, while the first American edition, by contrast, included a typical black peril narrative featuring the rape of a white woman by black men. Grahams research shows that Rooke initially wrote the latter version, but that the left-wing British publisher Victor Gollancz, fearful that the novel would run foul of the South African censors, compelled the change. However, the change was not made in the Houghton Mifflin edition published in the United States. Graham considers how such changes reflect the expectations of different markets and examines the consequences of having multiple versions of the same work in circulation. She takes as her point of departure the judgment by J. M. Coetzee (2001, 211) that, [t]o her credit, Rooke did not indulge in the ne plus ultra of colonial horror fantasies, the rape of a white woman, though she does come close to it. Coetzees comments seem uncontroversial when read in an afterword included in a reprint of the 1951 Gollancz text, but when his text was reproduced in a 2008 reprint of the American text, a contradiction appeared. For here, as Graham observes, Coetzee mentions Rookes avoidance of a black peril scene, and yet the text contains the representation of the rape of Letty, a white character, by a black man (122). If these chapters chart the likely reasons forand the effects oftextual variation in which the author is complicit (even if the effects on reading and the implications for future paratexts are not predictable), the third essay in this section (Chapter 3.3), Rita Barnards engaged and suggestive consideration of the fate of Alan Patons Cry, the Beloved Country in the ambit of Oprah Winfreys television and online Book Club, examines the potential of certain texts for near-endless reinterpretation and appropriation in contexts in which authorial intent is not at issue. First published in New York in February 1948 (and in London the following September), Patons most famous novel provides a compelling example of the implication of a South African novel


in these global economies. By the mid-1950s it had been dramatised, filmed, abridged, condensed and incorporated into school curriculums; it had become a multimedia phenomenon for a global audience, despite what many South Africans may have thought of its Christian humanism (see Van der Vlies 2007, 71105). During the final quarter of 2003 it was chosen as the second novel to be featured on Winfreys revamped Book Club, and the literary academic drafted in to serve as the expert to answer online questions posed by Oprahs readers was Rita Barnard, one of the most astute contemporary critics of South African cultures and the global sphere. In response to my invitation to contribute to a 2004 journal special issue, Barnard offered an insightful account of her experience with what she calls the Oprah megatext, exploring the implications of Oprahs selection of Patons novel both for the history of the novels reception and for the international consumption of South African literature and of South Africa as mediascape at the present moment (144). Barnard argues that Cry, the Beloved Countrys co-option by Oprah presents a new departure in its reception history in which it becomes one narrative among many, including of Winfrey herself (and her charitable activities in South Africa), under the auspices of a well-meaning (if commercially driven) ethic of emotional similitude (155). Barnard concludes polemically, speaking to the imperative for book history to consider transnational audiences and sites of commodification, and that nations may well come to signify in a new wayas mediascapes, occasions for certain kinds of stories and certain kinds of touristic experiences (155).13 The potential methodological suggestiveness of the essays in this section of the present volume is clear: not only do they remind us that we should pay attention to which version of a work we are reading (students and even some scholars of modern literature in particular still need to be reminded of this fact rather too frequently), but they point to the presence of ideological exigencies in the ways in which texts come to have unpredictable afterlives. It matters that one is reading the version of Mittee first published in the United States rather than the one that appeared in Britain, particularly if a paratext (like Coetzees), which refers to one version, is reproduced in an edition that uses another. In a more recent example, a discussion of the ethics of representing and appropriating narratives of trauma, and especially of the place of fiction in a work ostensibly of non-fiction, would play out very differently in a classroom whose students had read the American rather than the South African and British version of Antjie Krogs Country of My Skull, as Laura Moss has illustrated so convincingly (2006; see also Sanders 2007, 160). * * *

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How attentive we ought to be to the location, material conditions and textual variations among versions of a text is worth considering in relation to the writer who is arguably South Africas most famous literary novelist (even if he is no longer resident in the country), but whose works contested designation as South African itself demands book-historical scrutiny. I am referring, of course, to Nobel laureate J. M. Coetzee, with reference to whose autre-biographical Boyhood this introduction began. On the occasion of accepting the CNA Prize, one of South Africas most prestigious literary awards, for his third novel, Waiting for the Barbarians, Coetzee (1981, 16) mused on whether it was a good idea, even a just idea to regard South African literature in English as a national literature, or even an incipient national literature. The country existed in relation to Western Europe and North America, the centres of the dominant world civilization, like that of province to metropolis, he suggested polemically. South African writers were not building a new national literature, he continued, but should instead resign themselves to contributing to an established provincial literature. This was not to admit mediocrity, he was quick to point out, but rather to embark on a project of rehabilitating the notion of the provincial (Coetzee 1981, 16). How has Coetzees work itself negotiated the tensions between being provincial and metropolitan or local and global? The next three essays in this collection all consider the vexed question of the category of the national in relation to writing like Coetzees, exploring whether bookhistorical consideration of his works material histories might add to an understanding of particular works, of his oeuvre in general, and of local and global institutions of literature (and literariness) in the globalised marketplace for fiction. The novels discussed are In the Heart of the Country (Chapter 4.1), Foe (Chapter 4.2) and Slow Man (Chapter 4.3). In my discussion of Coetzees second published novel, In the Heart of the Country (1977; 1978), I explore the material predicaments of a work that, significantly, has two textual versions: one almost wholly in English, published in Britain and the United States (making it the first of Coetzees works to be published outside of South Africa); the other, a local South African edition published by Ravan Press, with long passages of untranslated dialogue in Afrikaans. I ask what the fact of the novels multi-textual history contributes to an understanding of Coetzees oeuvre and what its material history suggests about his engagement with the idea of a national literature. This essay includes much of the text of a chapter from my 2007 monograph, South African Textual Cultures, substantially rewritten to take account of new work by Hermann Wittenberg and Peter McDonald.


In the second essay of this Coetzee cluster, Jarad Zimbler discusses the South African publishing contexts of Foe, suggesting that metropolitan readers who did not have access to the local Ravan Press edition of the novel necessarily experienced it differently to readers in South Africa who were aware of the implications of its publication by a radical press. Derek Attridge (1992, 217) suggests that as soon as a work is regarded as being part of a canon, it risks becoming dehistoricised: the canon can dematerialize the acts of writing and reading while promoting a myth of transcendent human truths and values. Foe famously draws attention to its own intertextual relation to a canonical text. By exploring issues of marginality, it (and Coetzees oeuvre more generally, Attridge argues) reveals and challenges the silences in and of the canon. Zimblers essay seeks to perform a similar operation, suggesting that Foe has, ironically, suffered a fate not unlike that which it is concerned thematically to undermine. A failure to pay proper attention to Foes relationship with the South African cultural and literary fields has, he argues, prevented the novel from saying certain things and limited its significance to a broad, theoretical concern with cultural production and the position of the sexual and racial other (195-6). Patrick Denman Flanerys essay attends not to the publication contexts of a Coetzee novel as such, but rather to the contexts of publication of two fragments of his 2005 novel, Slow Man: excerpts that appeared in an anthology in aid of the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami; and a heavily edited section of the novel (then forthcoming) that appeared in The New Yorker magazine in June 2005. Both instances signify Coetzees determined distancing of himself from attempts to label him exclusively a South African writer, Flanery argues, but they also shed fascinating light on the fates of post-colonial writing at the hands of institutions of global publishing and cultural validation, with wide ramifications for the study of literariness and globalisation. Flanerywho has elsewhere written about the textual history of The Lives of Animals and Elizabeth Costello (Flanery 2004)brings to this examination (in addition to a novelists eye) a theoretical concern for the implications of adaptation and abridgement, both animating preoccupations of some recent book-historical and textual-cultural scholarship. Citing an email exchange with Coetzee, in which the novelist suggested that he considered the first edition to be the definitive text ([p]re-published drafts or edited excerpts do not, from that point of view, count) (quoted in Flanerys chapter in this volume), Flanery takes issue with Coetzees privileging of the firstedition text:


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Contributions to what has come to be known as Book History have taught us over the past decades that every instance of a text, every site of publication, including excerpts, serializations and later critical editions (which, with Coetzee, seem an inevitability), influences its afterlife. What this particular case of the changing shape of Coetzees textwhich we know most conventionally as Slow Mandemonstrates is that the author, even the critically lauded and globally garlanded author, ultimately is not, and cannot be, entirely in control of his own text(s) (220).

A focus on work by J. M. Coetzee is not intended to suggest that his work is necessarily exemplary (except insofar as the attention paid in the three essays included here to the circumstances of publication of three texts from different stages of this authors career), but provides three models for the kinds of work on writers careers that might be attempted on a number of South African authorsof fiction, non-fiction, poetry and drama. Reassessment of writers works should, in other words, take a form other than the hagiographic, biographical or New Critical, these essays suggest. * * * The next section includes three quite different studies, each attending to the uses of books in a productive and distinctive manner. All, however, share a concern to show how booksand collections of booksevade the designs of monologic interpretation. They are portable, they invite unsettling readings and they are not always what they purport to be. One such imposter is the subject of Lize Kriels lively chapter (Chapter 5.1): Malaboch or Notes from My Diary on the Boer Campaign of 1894 against the Chief Malaboch of Blaauwberg, District Zoutpansberg, South African Republic to which Is Appended a Synopsis of the Johannesburg Crisis of 1896, by Colin Rae, an English priest, published in Cape Town and London. Rae worked for six years in Krugers Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek and based his book on his experiences as chaplain to the English members of a commando raised against the unfortunate Kgoi Kgalui, or Mmalebh (Raes Malaboch). Despite being increasingly recognised as flawed, unreliable and even plagiarised, Raes text continued to be treated as a reliable source in historiography on the Boers campaign against Kgoi Kgaluis people. Kriel asks why historians, normally priding themselves on the authority of their narratives on the grounds of their close scrutiny of the facts, failed to detect the flaws in the Rae text for so long (228), and in so doing offers a consideration of the textual imperatives of representations


of racial conflict in Southern Africa. Her essay poses challenging questions about the use of sources by historians and historiographers of colonial-era Southern Africawith resonances for historiographic projects in other colonial contexts. Archie Dick is interested in quite different books and their uses. His essay (Chapter 5.2) offers an engrossing account of the operation of the Books for Troops scheme in South Africa during the Second World War, which saw the South African Library Association (SALA) exploit an opportunity to promote the democratic values of books, ideas and libraries (in Dicks paraphrase). It was perforce neither as extensive nor successful as the American Armed Services Editions (see Rabinowitz 2010), but nonetheless promoted reading to many black soldiers, while also promoting to white soldiers the possibility of an inclusive South African national identity (249). Dicks essay points the way to more engaged and less descriptive work in library and information studies, sheds light on the reading and collecting tastes of South Africans at mid-century, and is an important contribution to a growing field of enquiry. Hedley Twidles sophisticated and provocative essay (Chapter 5.3), written specifically for this collection, explores the challenge posed for studies of orature, print and textuality in South Africa, by another project to collate (like Rae) and collect and disseminate (like SALA)in this case the Grey Collection, which had its beginnings with the 5,200 items donated by Sir George Grey, outgoing governor of the Cape Colony, to the South African Library (now the National Library of South Africa, Cape Town) in 1861. Grey had by that date served as governor of South Australia (184045), New Zealand (184553) and the Cape (185461); he would go on to serve once more as governor of New Zealand (186168), and later as MP and premier there. Twidle muses on the fact that this extraordinary collectionincluding a Shakespeare First Folio and valuable incunabula, as well as seminal texts on early ethnography, natural history and philology from South Africa, Australia and New Zealandis chronically under-used, and this leads him to ponder how its organisation invites or frustrates use, and what this might imply for the colonial archive more broadly. The collection offers opportunities for studies of SouthSouth links across various imperial spaces, including of comparative approaches to the study of autochthonous languages and the challenge their alterity was early regarded as posing to European modes of intellectual organisation and engagement. And yet, as Twidle observes, a dilemma in studying such collections in a post-colony is the constant return to organisational models inherited from the colonial period. A point of departure from this familiar paradigm, Twidle suggests,

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might be to balance an attention to that rather abstract imaginary of accumulated texts and tropesthe colonial librarywith a more materialist account of the library in the colony. How are specific institutions and collections established within an expanding world system in the nineteenth century? How are they marked by their local context and in what ways does this determine the problems and possibilities associated with their use today? (258).

Twidle attempts to answer some of these questions, specifically with attention to |Xam and !Kung material famously transcribed by Wilhelm Bleek and Lucy Lloyd, and to Bleeks role as the first librarian of the Grey Collection. While Twidles essay comments on the wealth of knowledge about autochthonous languages held in the Grey Collection and on the hegemony of English in post-apartheid discourses of governance (and the so-called African Renaissance), the three essays that follow chart different courses through fascinating material that bears on some of the same concern with the otherness of other cultures of communication, and with their fates after (and imbrication with) technologies of print: Xhosa oral and performance culture, contemporary performance poetry and orature, and mid-century photonovels. In the first of these essays (Chapter 6.1), Jeff Opland, long a leading scholar of oral cultures in South Africa, offers a thoroughgoing and suggestive survey of the appearances of representative ideas of the book in oral performances in isiXhosa. If the technology of print introduced by whites was eager to absorb Xhosa oral traditions and if in the course of time it nurtured black contributors to the print media, Opland writes, what, he wonders, was the complementary attitude of Xhosa oral poetry to white culture? (289). Considering how the Xhosa oral tradition interacted with white technologies of writing and of print, Opland examines first the depiction of books in praise poetry of the nineteenth century, before turning to the cases of two literate poets writing and performing in isiXhosa in the twentieth: Nontsizi Mgqwetho, a Christian convert working in Johannesburg in the 1920s and a significant early woman writer in isiXhosa; and David Yali-Manisi, among the most important of the iimbongi in recent South African history, whose work has a fascinating history of print and performanceand a contested legacy. Opland almost single-handedly rediscovered andwith the help of Phyllis Ntantala, Abner Nyamende and Peter Mtuzetranslated Mgqwethos important body of work (see Opland 2007). His relationship with YaliManisia not uncomplicated one of observation, facilitation, collaboration and promotionhas been written about by Opland himself (2005) and, more


recently, subtly and judiciously by Ashlee Neser (2011). In this representative engagement with a long history of performed poetry in isiXhosa, a thorough revision of a chapter from his 1998 monograph, Xhosa Poets and Poetry, Opland shows how writing and print cultures were early associated with white colonial oppression in the region, and explores the implications of what appears still to be the case of oral technologys apparently unwavering rejection of writing. Deborah Seddons essay (Chapter 6.2) engages with the difficulty of representing orature in the South African literary canon while, in the authors words, promoting recognition of [...] its existence as an oral form (306). Seddon engages with scholarship on orality and orature in the region, discusses the work of important but under-studied poets like Ingoapele Madingoane, and looks to the future negotiation of technologies of orality with print. In so doing, her work both revisits some of the issues canvassed in Oplands and, in its polemical openness to the difficulties of producing a document or platform receptive to the form of contemporary orature in South Africa, points intriguingly towards possible future uses of printand other technology, perhaps visual and recorded soundin South Africa, in particular in institutions of higher learning. Seddons concern with the politics of representation and collection and with technologies of reproduction puts her work in dialogue, too, with Twidles essay. She takes her cue from Hofmeyrs suggestion that the initial confrontation between orality and literacy in parts of South Africa had often unpredictable consequences for the relationship between writing and print; Hofmeyr showed how orality transforms or oralisesliteracy, rather than the other way around, Seddon notes. She wishes to turn to consider this capacity for transformation by examining how selected contemporary black South African poets consistently viewed the print medium, alongside the continued deployment of oral forms, as an important means to ensure the preservation, education and dissemination of South African orature (3078). Lily Saints 2010 essay on photonovels (or photocomics) in South Africa between the 1960s and 1980s has been condensed and revised for this collection from the Journal of Southern African Studies. In this revised version (Chapter 6.3), Saint considers the contexts of a number of publications that used staged photographs and text, most often employing narrative conventions associated with romance, thrillers and Westerns. Publications like Great, Kid Colt, Tessa, Dr. Conrad Brand, Grensvegter, and See: Romantic Adventures in Photos enjoyed enormous success. What energises Saints analysis is the speculation that these publications had readerships that cut across boundaries of class andmost importantlyrace. Her evidence points in particular to black readers being

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more likely to read publications intended for white readers. Saints fascinating exploration of the semiotics of race in some of these publications points to hitherto unremarked fractures in the facade of white popular culture that, according to popular wisdom, celebrated racial purity. What Saint finds is that many of these publications employed what she calls polyvocal, extra-literary discourses even when they attempt, particularly in their reliance on hyperstylised genres, to reify narrative monolingualism (Saint 2010, 944). As a consequence, she suggests, they attest the difficulty of apartheids attempts to erase the mixture that was not only a part of everyday life in South Africa but even a part of Afrikaner heritageand whitenessitself (Saint 2010, 944). Popular culture can be unconsciously subversive. This Saint illustrates in fascinating detail, demonstrating how the apparently ideologically empty appropriation of the Western photocomic form (and especially photocomics with quasi-Wild West narratives) provided more heterogeneous modes through which to read race, poking holes in the apartheid screen of vision by fostering practices of interracial readership that crossed legal, imaginative and narrative boundaries (342). * * * An interest in legal and institutional restrictions on reading (and restrictions on ideologically motivated attempts to structure encounters with texts in particular ways) preoccupies the essays in the penultimate section of this collection. Peter McDonalds essay (Chapter 7.1) obliquely approaches the operation of apartheid-era South Africas censors (the subject of his 2009 monograph, The Literature Police): the subject of the readings that he discusses, D. H. Lawrences Lady Chatterleys Lover, is obviously not a work by a South African author, but McDonalds examination of the censorship systems engagement with this novel and the problem of obscenity teases out its implications for a broader understanding of the form and nature of institutional reading and the policing of literature in white South Africa. The evidence provided by this case study suggests that the censorship system effectively confused distinctions between censorship on moral and political grounds: all censorship, in effect, became political. The issue was never really empirical anyway (what are public morals?), McDonald argues; it was always and only political (who decides?) (366). This same question is arguably at the heart of any decision about literariness, as McDonald argues in his 2006 PMLA essay (discussed earlier in this introduction). Here he replaces his earlier characterisation of opponents


in a book-history-vs-theory culture war as historical documentalists and ahistorical textualists, respectively (McDonald 2003), with a dichotomy between skeptical antiessentialis[ts] and enchanted antiessentialists (McDonald 2006, 217, 219), who are distinguishable on the basis of their definition of X in the formulation X said, This is literaturewhere the demonstrative [is] understood performatively (McDonald 2006, 217). The former are those for whom the identity of X is variously some form of community or sphere that might function in reader-response, sociological or materialist explanations (McDonald discusses Stanley Fishs idea of the interpretive community, Bourdieus field and Terry Eagletons analysis of class in the rise of English studies as examples of formulations of sceptical anti-essentialism). The enchanted antiessentialists, on the other hand, might answer that X denotes writing itselfMcDonald discusses Barthes and Blanchot (the former still historicist, the latter concerned with the otherness of the literary; we might here compare Derek Attridges [2004] idea of literatures singularity). Apartheid-era censors did not operate with such nuanced categories of response, but their insistence on thoroughand, thankfully for researchers like McDonald, thoroughly documenteddeliberations on the nature and degree of undesirability of writing produced in or imported into South Africa provides us with rich material for materialist and theoretical engagement. Asking who decides? and charting how they do so and with what results are key undertakings of research into book cultures and the institutions of literature. It substantially enlarges our understanding of cultural and political authority. The next essays consider different aspects of this process of decision making, and its effects. South African-born, Netherlands-based scholar Margriet van der Waal (Chapter 7.2) asks who selects books for study in post-apartheid schools and how they make their decisions: she focuses on the Gauteng Education Departments decision in 2001 to remove Nadine Gordimers 1981 novel Julys People from the list of recommended reading for the provinces high schools. Gordimers was not the only text considered inappropriate for learners in Gauteng secondaries: Shakespeares Julius Caesar was described as a sexist play that elevates men. Hamlet was deemed unsuitable for classroom reading because the text is not optimistic or uplifting and Athol Fugards play My Children, My Africa! was considered inappropriate as educational material because learners in multicultural classrooms should not be subjected to literature which negatively reflects the sordid socio-economic past, Van der Waal explains (369). But debate about Gordimers text in particular became a lightning rod for disgruntlement at the new censors in the post-apartheid

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bureaucracy and provides fascinating material for an examination of the operation of the field of educational validation (and political reading) at a particular moment in South Africas recent history. The public debate that followed the Education Departments initial decision points to the fact that a number of contested issues are of continuing importance in the discourse on literature education in South Africa, Van der Waal concludes, not least the role and value of the Western canon and the challenges posed to its reputed universalism, and an insistence by actors in the literary field that it should be their prerogative to make selections for literature education, and not that of actors and institutions in other fields (381). The supposed universality of the Western canon is also explored by the final essay in this cluster, by Natasha Distiller, a leading scholar of the afterlives and uses of Shakespeares plays in Southern Africa (see Distiller 2005; 2009). She offers an intriguing account of the investments in Shakespeare as model of universal values in a post-colonial, only partially Anglophone society and of the manner in which these investments have operatedoften perniciously at the textual level in numerous editions of Shakespeare produced for South African schools. Distiller argues that work done in universities in the past few decades has had little effect on the teaching of Shakespeare in schools in South Africa, apart from disseminating an awareness that Shakespeare has become contested territory (399). In South Africa, such awareness is often used defensively, she writes, in reaction to what is assumed to be an Africanist and thus an apparently anti-European (in other words, white) position (399). The investment in Shakespeare made by Anglophone South African society can be read variously in the manner in which educational editions of Shakespeare plays have been produced and promoted in South Africa. To explore how this works, Distiller examines versions of Macbeth in a number of editionsthe Shakespeare Schools Text Project published by Macmillan; Maskew Miller Longmans Active Shakespeare series; Walter Saunders et al.s Introducing Shakespeare abridgements (subsequently the Shakespeare 2000 editions that offered parallel modernised and original texts); and the Wits Schools Shakespeare Macbeth, published by Nasou Via Afrika in 2007in order to pose this question: How much does Shakespeare really matter in post-apartheid South African cultures if an outdated version is in circulation within a society that seems to be very busily working through its complex definitions of culture none the worse (if none the better) for it? (402). A polemical account by a leading scholar of contemporary South African cultural formations and of Shakespeare and Early Modern studies in post-colonial contexts, this essay will be of interest to Shakespeare scholars


internationally, as well as to students of textual cultures and cultural politics in post-colonial contexts. * * * The final grouping of chapters is headed New Directions and is intended to suggest the kinds of questionstheoretical, economic, cultural materialist, aesthetic, ideologicalthat might be asked of under-studied areas of print production in South Africa. It is also intended to raise questions about the power to reconfigure the way we think about what we do with books (or with texts of any kind that have a surface); of those points of intersections between, on the one hand, what I have been calling book history and, on the other, theoretical concerns with surface, depth, entanglement and futurity that have come to be prominent in some attempts to theorise contemporary South African society and cultural production. In a richly suggestive essay (Chapter 8.1), Sarah Nuttall (revisiting some of the concerns of her 2009 monograph, Entanglement) seeks to read the rise of history-of-the-book scholarship alongsideor as involved in the theoretical realignments testified to bythe decline of what she (following others) calls symptomatic readings, which is to say a hermeneutics of suspicion driven chiefly by the discourses of psychoanalysis and Marxism. [T]here now appears a need, she suggests, to think about the surface as a place from which to readpower, personhood and contemporary cultureactively; the surface becomes a generative force capable of producing effects of its own (409, 410). A concern with the material instantiation of text, in other words of the literal surface of the book (or other printed object), is one way of reading Nuttall literallybut there is more at stake. Turning to work by scholar of nineteenthcentury print cultures and of reading, Harvard academic Leah Price, and drawing on a number of strategic and suggestive interventions by the likes of Bill Brown, Anne Cheng, Jim Collins, and Jean and John Comaroff, Nuttalls bravura discussion suggests a number of possible lines of flightto invoke her citation of Gilles Deleuzein terms both of matter for study, and modes of and methodologies for engagement. Price speculates on what future scholarship might make of the multiple uses of booksuses that approximate, but are not necessarily congruent with reading as it has been understood in the West at least since the eighteenth century. [H]ow, Price asks, might we make sense of the full range of operations in which books are enlisted (including but not limited to reading)? [W]hat difference does it make whether we structure that enquiry around the human subjects who perform those operations, or

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around the inanimate objects that undergo them[?], she wonders (Price 2009, 123). Nuttall does not propose exactly what a returnor a turnto the surface might look like in South African literary critical or historiographic terms (although she provides a number of suggestions). But her essay offers a provocation for the kind of book-historical work being undertaken in South Africa and on South African material to reflect on its methodologies and to interrogate its relationship to larger critical and philosophical currents of thought onand alongsurfaces both metaphorical and real. The finalboth also originalessays in this section were provided by contributors who are or have been involved in the physical production of books in South Africa. These chapters survey neglected areas of book production that engage with cultural and intellectual capital in diverse ways. Thus Bronwyn Law-Viljoen, at the time of writing both editor of the countrys most important art magazine (Art South Africa) and co-founder and editor of Fourthwall Books (producing high-quality art books on South African art and artists), considers the economics of art-book publishing in South Africa in her essay (Chapter 8.2). The art book represents what is fast becoming an archaic mode of publishingslow, expensive, resistant to electronic translation, labour intensive, she notes. Hence, according to the logic of capitalism, it should have been eaten up long ago (423). It is frequently the case, however, that those who buy art books are often also bibliophilesand the deluxe edition art book also often approximates an art object. Discussing the difficult technical and financial circumstances for the production of quality art books, Law-Viljoen speculates that there has been a
polarisation of art book publishing in South Africa. On the one hand, the demand for relatively inexpensive art books for schools and other educational institutions is growing. At the other end of the spectrum, however, are collectible art books. These will become more expensive, but will continue to be published to meet the demand for the beautifully produced book-as-object (433-4).

Quite why this is, how we might think about the many roles that the art book serves and the manner in which the book itself is frequently made to serve as artwork are all topics that would repay future scholarly attention. In the final essay, Elizabeth le Roux, an academic previously employed by a university press, notes that most studies of publishing in South Africa have, to date, focused on the most explicit links between publishing and apartheid, paying less attention to how apartheid affected publishing, but how publishing


houses actively sought either to undermine or support the government and its policies (437). Their focus has tended to be on independent, oppositional publishers (like Ravan, David Philip and Skotaville) or on presses run by large companies in support of the establishment (preeminently, Nasionale Pers). University presses fall in the middleneither clearly anti-apartheid nor neatly collaborationist (437), Le Roux argues, and they merit closer study. This essay offers a survey of the field and a prompt to future research (and is apt too, one might say, given the publication of this collection by an academic press). * * * Scholars like Philip H. Round and Matt Cohen (both 2010) have begun to re-energise North American book historical scholarships engagement with native North American peoples encounters with the book as an object and with print as technology. Cohen has suggested, too, that we need a more nuanced and capacious account of how communication across languages in colonial spaces marked unevenly by orality and literacy has always relied simultaneously on multiple media. Writing about seventeenth-century New England, he comments:
If Natives and English were both oral and inscribing peoples, then they constituted each others audiences in ways scholars have only begun to consider. What would count as evidence for a multimedia, continuous topography of communication techniques, and what would a narrative of it look like? What would such a narrative do to our definitions of the boundaries between peopleseven, perhaps to operating definitions of culture itself? (Cohen 2010, 2).

Such questions might equally energise Southern African scholarship. There is still considerable work to be done not only in the area of early prints circulation in the region, but on modes of communication more broadly defined and their mutual imbrication during and after the early colonial period. There is also urgent work to be done on the future. South African book cultures face complex challenges as outlined in a 2012 Department of Arts and Culture ministerial task team report, which identified leading reasons for the high cost of and comparatively small market for books in South Africa: small print runs (because the trade market is small), competition for qualified staff [a]cross the value chain, the cost of paper, the fact that printing costs are 30%40% cheaper in the East, a lack of bookstores

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located outside wealthy urban areas, poor distribution channels to encourage the production of indigenous-language publishing, and an under-resourced and under-utilised library system (DAC 2012, 2223). It notes that only 1% of the South African population are book buyers (DAC 2012, 15). But the report also acknowledges the tremendous benefits of books and publishing to the nation and stateto culture, science, education, freedom of speech, and, not least, the economyand seeks consultation on an ambitious plan to stimulate growth in the sector. Any coordinated strategy bodes well for the future of South African print cultures and should therefore be encouraged and scrutinised. Whatever its results, it will undoubtedly provide ample material for future book-historical research. The essays included in this volume present themselves not as the history of the book in South Africathat is to say, neither as a national history of the book, nor as a collection blind to the necessity of considering multiple other sign systems and modes of communication in a truly expansive history of communication in the region. The collection is certainly not exhaustive of all possible areas of study, forms of print artefact, or, indeed, language. Rather, these essays are chapters in a history of the book and of the history of its study in Southern Africa. Each of these contributions recognises, through a heterogeneity of subject and method, that an all-encompassing project would be too restrictive for a region as varied as this isand with such a particularly cruel history. Rather, Print, Text and Book Cultures in South Africa presents itself as a gathering, a space of interdisciplinary conversation intended to make a significant intervention in a fledgling field and to suggest a number of models that future studies might follow.

For support during the writing of this introduction and the editing of this volume, I have incurred debts of gratitude to all of the contributors, but in particular to Peter D. McDonald for comments on a draft of the introduction (and, indeed, for getting me started), and Patrick Denman Flanery for ongoing support and conversation, and for telling me when it was done. Additionally: Rowan Roux retrieved a copy of J. M. Coetzees course outline from the National English Literary Museum in Grahamstown; thanks also to NELM for permission to cite from it. I wish also to record my gratitude to all at Wits University Press, particularly Veronica Klipp, Julie Miller, Roshan Cader, Melanie Pequeux and Tshepo Neito, and also to the Presss anonymous readers, and an efficient and accommodating copy-editor, Alex Potter.



1 2


See Coetzee (1992, 39194; 2006, 21415); Lenta (2003). Although the German Geschichte des Buchwesens, another strong influence on the Anglo-American tradition, uses the plural. Robert Darnton (2002) also favoured the plural. 3 For South African readers new to the field, Hofmeyr and Kriel provided a compelling survey of the historiography of history of the book in their introduction to a special issue of the South African Historical Journal on Book History in Southern Africa (2006, see especially 510). 4 Peter McDonald (1997, 1059) offers a very useful summary of the confluence of these different strands of book-historical work, and places McKenzie and McGann in the context of twentieth-century scholarly editing and textual scholarship traditions. 5 Bourdieus analysis of the field and operation of distinction in relation to cultural production generally has been enormously productive for book-historical studies, although its widespread application has attracted critique and revision in the last several years. For example, McDonalds 1997 endorsement of Bourdieus conception of the field as a way of expanding on the usefulness of Darntons communication circuit had given way, by the mid-2000s, to a critique: Bourdieus field remained limited insofar as it addresses only one side of literatures double challenge, McDonald (2006, 226) wrote; it underestimates the unpredictability of writing, which is always capable of transforming the field by exceeding or subverting its determinations. See also Jarad Zimblers nuanced critique (2009), which draws on South African literary examples in support of its arguments. 6 Much of this and the preceding paragraph draws on formulations I offered in the introduction to a special issue of English Studies in Africa devoted to Histories of the Book in Southern Africa (see Van der Vlies 2004) and in the introductory chapter to my 2007 monograph, South African Textual Cultures. 7 For example, the three-volume University of Queensland Press A History of the Book in Australia (including volumes edited by Wallace Kirsop on the period to 1890 [forthcoming], Martyn Lyons and John Arnold on the period 18911945 [2001], and Craig Munro and Robyn Sheahan-Bright on the period 19462005 [2006]), and the three-volume History of the Book in Canada, published by the University of Toronto Press under the general editorship of Patricia Lockhart Fleming and Yvan Lamonde (200407). The US and British national history projects are the University of North Carolina Presss A History of the Book in America (five volumes to 2009), and Cambridge University Presss Cambridge History of the Book in Britain (six volumes published to date, with a seventh, on Britain in the twentieth century, forthcoming under the editorship of Andrew Nash, Claire Squires and Ian Willison). 8 For important work on South Asian histories of the book (and of script and print), see Gupta and Chakravorty (2004; 2008). Ruvani Ranasinha (2007) and Sarah Brouillette (2007) have both written about the global fates of South Asian writers. 9 These include introductory and survey essays on the history of the book and of script and print cultures in sub-Saharan Africa (Van der Vlies 2010), the Muslim world (Roper 2010), the Indian subcontinent (Gupta 2010), South-east Asia (Wieringa 2010; Igunma 2010), Australia (Morrison 2010), New Zealand (Rogers 2010), Canada (Fleming 2010) and Latin America (Roldn Vera 2010). 10 I am indebted in part to Hofmeyr and Kriel, for their useful survey (2006, especially 1014).

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11 Anna H. Smiths account of the spread of printing in South Africa (1971) has not been bettered, although doubtless new material has been uncovered that might contribute to a revised edition. 12 Poliva (1968, 52) writes engagingly about Nehemia Dov Hoffmann (18601928), pioneer Prussian-born printer and journalist who, having worked in Berlin and New York, arrived in Johannesburg in 1889, bringing with him the first printers type in Yiddish characters. Hoffman published Der Afrikaner Israelit for six months before returning to Cape Town and becoming a peddler. He later published a weekly called Haor, which ran for five years and, with a British Jewish immigrant, Der Yiddisher Herald, which lasted two years (Poliva 1968, 5354). Mendelsohn and Shains The Jews in South Africa (2008) makes brief mention of Hoffmann, and of Yiddish publishing and intellectual life in District Six (see Mendelsohn & Shain 2008, 79, 82). 13 See Van der Vlies and Flanery (2008) further on South African Cultural Texts and the Global Mediascape, the title of their special issue of Scrutiny2 on the topic.

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