Im Schatten des Zitronenbaums : Other Peritextual Material

The text itself provides more evidence of the educational intention of the novel. Like Morlot, Naoura uses footnotes, but he does so much more extensively, which is unusual in a work aimed at children and young adults. At the end of the text there is a short outline of the history of South Africa written by Sonja Matheson (in Molope 2012:187-188), the Executive Director and Editor at the Baobab Foundation. The extract below includes some of the more salient information:

Die Rassengesetze aus dem Jahr 1948 verboten das Zusammenleben von Menschen mit unterschiedlicher Hautfarbe... Die Widerstandsbewegung wurde mit brutaler Gewalt von der weißen Regierung unterdrückt, viele Menschen wurden ermordert oder mussten unter Lebensgefahr ins Exil flüchten... „Kaffer“ war eines der beleidigenden Schimpfwörter von Weißen für Schwarze. Die Verwendung dieses Wortes ist heute in Südafrika verboten.

1990 wurde Nelson Mandela freigelassen, nachdem er über zwanzig Jahre im Gefängnis gesessen hatte, weil die weiße Regierung ihn als gefährlichen Verbrecher einstufte ... Nelson Mandela wurde Präsident des Landes. Er setzte sich für einen landesweiten Wahrheits- und Versöhnungsprozess zwischen den Schwarzen und den Weißen ein und wurde weltweit zu einer Symbolflgur für Frieden und Gerechtigkeit.

[...Racist laws from the year 1948 prohibited people of different coloured skin from living side by side... Opposition movements were repressed with brutal force by the white government and many people were murdered or had to flee into exile for fear of their lives... “Kaffir” was one of the offensive swear words Whites used to refer to Blacks. The use of this word is prohibited in South Africa today.

In 1990 Nelson Mandela was released, after spending over twenty years in prison, because the white regime considered him a dangerous criminal... Nelson Mandela became president of the country. He began a country-wide truth and reconciliation process between blacks and whites and became a symbol of peace and justice throughout the world.]

Three elements stand out in this passage:

  • (i) Lexical patterns: a clear pattern of opposition discourse is evident, marking apartheid as a negative and unjust system: racist laws, repressed, brutal force, murdered. In the section on post-1990 events, the lexical pattern changes to positive choices: truth and reconciliation process, peace, justice. The publisher and the target reader are aligned in their knowledge that Mandela was unjustly imprisoned, and once released became an international icon of peace and justice.
  • (ii) Transitivity and verb processes: there is a predominance of material processes, with some passive constructions. Racist laws is presented as an agent, even if inanimate. The actor or agent is often named in this extract, such as in were repressed with brutal force by the white government or implied in many people were murdered and Nelson Mandela was released. Matheson is emphasising the fact that the white apartheid government was the instigator of actions considered intrinsically bad and unjust.
  • (iii) Presuppositions and assumptions: a shared position is established. The target readers are not South African and are removed from the events described, emphasising the geographical and political otherness of South African history. The extract is presented as a factual history and the assumption that readers share the writer’s opinion is emphasised, especially in lexical items such as brutal force. The absence of modal verbs underlines the presentation of information as factual.

Naoura’s translation includes 24 footnotes. The majority are straightforward and informative, often providing additional context. Geographical names are explained in terms of their location, meaning, or type of suburb. Gauteng is footnoted as “place of gold” (8) and the name of one of the nine provinces; Sandton is described as “[t]he wealthiest suburb in Johannesburg, reserved for Whites under the racist laws” (64) and the suburbs Eersterus and Laudium as “townships on the outskirts of Pretoria for Asians and Coloureds” (Farbige) (78). For a reference to toyi-toyi, Naoura provides a more functional definition than does Morlot, explaining that it originated in Zimbabwe and usually accompanied protest songs during demonstrations (74). Other words given a context are township (9), taxi (27), and Amandla! (108). Township was left unexplained by Morlot, but here Naoura explains the Group Areas Act, and Amandla is explained as a Zulu word meaning “strength”, used by protest marchers with clenched fists.

Other footnotes concern well-known South African political figures or musicians such as Miriam Makeba (17) and Tsepo Tsola (95), and political parties such as the PAC and the ANC (41). Socially significant phenomena or events such as the Soweto massacre are explained in more detail, such as “the police shot hundreds of children in the Soweto township” (23) along with some of the consequences of apartheid laws, such as white schools and access to restaurants. Each of these footnotes emphasises the distance between the ST and the TT readers. Several footnotes reveal slight misunderstandings or mistaken assumptions. When the young girls are described watching their mother “dance all day to tunes she could have been arrested for” (ST 11), this is translated directly into German and accompanied by a footnote (TT 15) explaining that black people in South Africa were forbidden to sing loudly, record songs or play musical recordings. More accurately, music and song lyrics were strictly censored and thousands of songs were banned (Vershbow 2010) including the ones the girls’ mother used to sing. Another footnote describes the Afrikaans language as the language of the white immigrants with Dutch roots (TT 129), but omitting the contextual information that it is also the mother tongue of several million South Africans of different racial groups.

 
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