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Title: Land, freedom and literature : history and ideology in the fiction about 'Mau Mau'
Author: Maughan-Brown, D. A.
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 1983
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This thesis sees the literature about 'Mau Mau' as an ideal site for the examination of certain socially significant modes of interaction between 'nonfictional' discourses ('history', autobiography, 'social psychology' etc.) and fictional discourses (both 'serious' and 'popular'). It seeks to demonstrate some of the ways in which realist fiction'can be made to 'render visible' its constitutive invisible: i.e. to reveal the historical determinations of the particular configuration of (non-literary) ideological discourses which it 'works' to produce the representatlonalillusion. Part I consists of an Introduction which outlines the theory of ideology and the literary-critical theory informing the analYSis of the fiction. This is followed by an account of 'Mau Mau' as a historical phenomenon which examines available data relating to the 'causes' of the revolt, 'Mau Mau's' relationship to Kenya African Nationalism, the conduct of the campaign by both sides, and the social composition of the movement, and concludes with an account of various historical interpretations of 'Mau'Mau'. Part 11 consists of three chapters: the fi'rst attempts to. construct a general model of Kenyan colonial settler ideology (defined as a special variant of fascism); the second situates the colonial novels about 'Mau Mau' by Ruark, Huxley, Harding, Kaye, Sheraton, Stoneham and Thomas in relation to 'public' and 'pseudo-academic' articulations of this ideology; the third discusses a further group of novels -- by Cornish, Fazakerley, Target and Reid -- produced . in closer relationship with the dominant liberal ideology of the metropolis but all informed, to a greater or lesser extent, by the colonial mythology of 'Mau Mau'. Part III opens with a discussion of the social, political and economic factors determining the possible terrain of a 'new' dominant ideology appropriate to the neo-colonial conditions of post-Independence Kenya. There follows a chapter on novAls by Mwangi, Mangua and Wachira which are shown to have been produced within that dominant ideology and to have been significant attempts to give it 'concrete' fictional development. The final chapter examines the changing image of 'Mau Mau' in the fiction of Ngugi wa Thiong'o, focusing particular attention on A Grain of Wheat, which is seen as a 'crisis' text produced at a moment of transition between mutually exclusive problematics, and thus as an ideal site for an examination of.the 'dialectically productive' relationship between fiction and ideology.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Literary fiction