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Scottish Literature and Postcolonial LiteratureComparative Texts and Critical Perspectives$
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Michael Gardiner and Graeme Macdonald

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780748637744

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748637744.001.0001

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This is not sarcasm believe me yours sincerely: James Kelman, Ken Saro-Wiwa and Amos Tutuola

This is not sarcasm believe me yours sincerely: James Kelman, Ken Saro-Wiwa and Amos Tutuola

Chapter:
(p.198) Chapter 15 This is not sarcasm believe me yours sincerely: James Kelman, Ken Saro-Wiwa and Amos Tutuola
Source:
Scottish Literature and Postcolonial Literature
Author(s):

Iain Lambert

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748637744.003.0015

This chapter describes the parallels between James Kelman's Translated Accounts and Ken Saro-Wiwa's Sozaboy in particular, although any reference to Saro-Wiwa's book also refers to Amos Tutuola's The Palm Wine Drinkard and My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. Translated Accounts foregrounds the question of how an author's words are rendered, by whom and why. Saro-Wiwa's use of a first-person narrator links the story to Tutuola's novels, and indeed with Translated Accounts. The language of Translated Accounts forces the reader to slow down and occupy the position of a non-native speaker functioning in a second language. As with the ‘Rotten English’ of Ken Saro-Wiwa, in Translated Accounts Kelman has succeeded in putting his readers in the position of someone far from the linguistic and political centre through the abrogation of a statist prestige variety of language.

Keywords:   James Kelman, Translated Accounts, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Sozaboy, Amos Tutuola, The Palm Wine Drinkard, Rotten English

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