In My Heart
Forthcoming in December 2021
Elsewhere Texts, edited by Gayatri Chakraborty Spivak and Hosam Aboul-Ela, presents radical new engagements with non-European literary cultures. This volume, the latest in this ambitious series, is a brilliant collection of essays originally written in Sesotho by Sophonia Machabe Mofokeng. Often confined to the role of ‘native informants’ in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, writers working in African languages laid the foundation for the politics and poetics of decolonization and are legendary among their own communities of readers, though their work remains little known elsewhere. In My Heart belongs to this tradition of colonial renegades. Writing in the 1950s during the cataclysmic events of apartheid that were transforming life in South Africa, Mofokeng offers a series of meditations that provide his readers with a Sesotho worldview outside the categories authorized by colonial knowledge. In My Heart, expertly translated by Nhlanhla Maake, introduces a significant African thinker’s influential work to a global readership.
‘The book you hold in your hand . . . is the kind of text . . . where a writer trained in Eurocentric institutions up to the doctoral level attempts to access the theoretical through laying claim to a different “normality” that always proceeds asymptotically with our European bi-culturalism. We must learn to recognize this as “theory”. If we forget Charlemagne’s injunction to “Christianize Aristotle”, we can re-think Aristotle’s insistence in the Nicomachean Ethics that theory is not research, as this kind of wisdom rather than the origin of Eurocentric hierarchy.’—Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, from the General Introduction to In My Heart.
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