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The Portable Bunyan


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Table of Contents

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS vii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ix LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS xiii PROLOGUE 1 INTRODUCTION Portable Texts: Bunyan, Translation, and Transnationality 11 PART ONE BUNYAN IN THE PROTESTANT ATLANTIC 1 The Congo on Camden Road 45 2 Making Bunyan Familiar in the Mission Domain 56 3 Translating Bunyan 76 4 Mata's Hermeneutic: Internationally Made Ways of Reading Bunyan 98 PART TWO BUNYAN, THE PUBLIC SPHERE, AND AFRICA 5 John Bunyan Luthuli: African Mission Elites and The Pilgrim's Progress 113 6 Dreams, Documents, and Passports to Heaven: African Christian Interpretations of The Pilgrim's Progress 137 7 African Protestant Masculinities in the Empire: Ethel M. Dell, Thomas Mofolo, and Mr. Great-heart 151 8 Illustrating Bunyan 173 9 Bunyan in the African Novel 191 PART THREE POST-BUNYAN 10 How Bunyan Became English 217 CONCLUSION Lifting the Tollgates 228 APPENDIX 1 Bunyan Translations by Language 240 APPENDIX 2 A Social Profile of Bunyan Translators 244 NOTES 247 BIBLIOGRAPHY 281 INDEX 307

Promotional Information

This book forces us to rethink the nature and practice of translation, clearly one of the most important subjects in literary, cultural, and social history today. The scholarship is outstanding; the style, engaging. -- Simon Gikandi, University of Michigan Hofmeyr develops for the first time a full and coherent study of Bunyan's book in the postcolonial world, giving a comprehensive account of its play in African cultures. The Portable Bunyan opens and offers a much-needed frame for the debate about the text itself and the wider implications of how such 'imported' texts are appropriated and 'indigenized.' -- Gareth Griffiths, University at Albany

About the Author

Isabel Hofmeyr is Professor of African Literature at the University of the Witwatersrand and the author of ""We Spend our Years as a Tale that is Told: Oral Historical Storytelling in a South African Chiefdom.""


Winner of the 2007 Richard L. Greaves Award, The International John Bunyan Society "The author includes much fascinating material on the numerous areas of African life that were influenced by, and transformed for their own purposes, Bunyan's epic... The Portable Bunyan will repay the attention of cultural anthropologists as well as students of literature, folklore, and religion."--Choice "Meticulously researched and beautifully written, The Portable Bunyan remains a treasure trove of hitherto unrecorded stories and ideas. At times quirky and humorous, provocative and politicized, the book is likely to inspire debates and repositionings in Bunyan scholarship and postcolonial studies... [Hofmeyer] builds layers of intriguing stories and penetrating analyses, composed in a work that will capture readers in its own web of prose."--Stephanie Newell, Modern Language Quarterly "[A] nuanced portrayal, one that succeeds in being about far more than 'how Africa changed Bunyan.' It shades into, and occasionally moves toward becoming, a book about world historical processes and literary identity."--Paul Landau, The International Journal of African Historical Studies

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