Welcome to The Valve
Login
Register


Valve Links

The Front Page
Statement of Purpose

John Holbo - Editor
Scott Eric Kaufman - Editor
Aaron Bady
Adam Roberts
Amardeep Singh
Andrew Seal
Bill Benzon
Daniel Green
Jonathan Goodwin
Joseph Kugelmass
Lawrence LaRiviere White
Marc Bousquet
Matt Greenfield
Miriam Burstein
Ray Davis
Rohan Maitzen
Sean McCann
Guest Authors

Laura Carroll
Mark Bauerlein
Miriam Jones

Past Valve Book Events

cover of the book Theory's Empire

Event Archive

cover of the book The Literary Wittgenstein

Event Archive

cover of the book Graphs, Maps, Trees

Event Archive

cover of the book How Novels Think

Event Archive

cover of the book The Trouble With Diversity

Event Archive

cover of the book What's Liberal About the Liberal Arts?

Event Archive

cover of the book The Novel of Purpose

Event Archive

The Valve - Closed For Renovation

Happy Trails to You

What’s an Encyclopedia These Days?

Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Intimate Enemies: What’s Opera, Doc?

Alphonso Lingis talks of various things, cameras and photos among them

Feynmann, John von Neumann, and Mental Models

Support Michael Sporn’s Film about Edgar Allen Poe

Philosophy, Ontics or Toothpaste for the Mind

Nazi Rules for Regulating Funk ‘n Freedom

The Early History of Modern Computing: A Brief Chronology

Computing Encounters Being, an Addendum

On the Origin of Objects (towards a philosophy of computation)

Symposium on Graeber’s Debt

The Nightmare of Digital Film Preservation

Richard Petti on Occupy Wall Street: America HAS a Ruling Class

Bill Benzon on Whatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhat?

Nick J. on The Valve - Closed For Renovation

Bill Benzon on Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Norma on Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Bill Benzon on What’s an Object, Metaphysically Speaking?

john balwit on What’s an Object, Metaphysically Speaking?

William Ray on That Shakespeare Thing

Bill Benzon on That Shakespeare Thing

William Ray on That Shakespeare Thing

JoseAngel on That Shakespeare Thing

Bill Benzon on Objects and Graeber's Debt

Bill Benzon on A Dirty Dozen Sneaking up on the Apocalypse

JoseAngel on A Dirty Dozen Sneaking up on the Apocalypse

JoseAngel on Objects and Graeber's Debt

Advanced Search

Articles
RSS 1.0 | RSS 2.0 | Atom

Comments
RSS 1.0 | RSS 2.0 | Atom

XHTML | CSS

Powered by Expression Engine
Logo by John Holbo

Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

 


Blogroll

2blowhards
About Last Night
Academic Splat
Acephalous
Amardeep Singh
Beatrice
Bemsha Swing
Bitch. Ph.D.
Blogenspiel
Blogging the Renaissance
Bookslut
Booksquare
Butterflies & Wheels
Cahiers de Corey
Category D
Charlotte Street
Cheeky Prof
Chekhov’s Mistress
Chrononautic Log
Cliopatria
Cogito, ergo Zoom
Collected Miscellany
Completely Futile
Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind
Conversational Reading
Critical Mass
Crooked Timber
Culture Cat
Culture Industry
CultureSpace
Early Modern Notes
Easily Distracted
fait accompi
Fernham
Ferule & Fescue
Ftrain
GalleyCat
Ghost in the Wire
Giornale Nuovo
God of the Machine
Golden Rule Jones
Grumpy Old Bookman
Ideas of Imperfection
Idiocentrism
Idiotprogrammer
if:book
In Favor of Thinking
In Medias Res
Inside Higher Ed
jane dark’s sugarhigh!
John & Belle Have A Blog
John Crowley
Jonathan Goodwin
Kathryn Cramer
Kitabkhana
Languagehat
Languor Management
Light Reading
Like Anna Karina’s Sweater
Lime Tree
Limited Inc.
Long Pauses
Long Story, Short Pier
Long Sunday
MadInkBeard
Making Light
Maud Newton
Michael Berube
Moo2
MoorishGirl
Motime Like the Present
Narrow Shore
Neil Gaiman
Old Hag
Open University
Pas au-delà
Philobiblion
Planned Obsolescence
Printculture
Pseudopodium
Quick Study
Rake’s Progress
Reader of depressing books
Reading Room
ReadySteadyBlog
Reassigned Time
Reeling and Writhing
Return of the Reluctant
S1ngularity::criticism
Say Something Wonderful
Scribblingwoman
Seventypes
Shaken & Stirred
Silliman’s Blog
Slaves of Academe
Sorrow at Sills Bend
Sounds & Fury
Splinters
Spurious
Stochastic Bookmark
Tenured Radical
the Diaries of Franz Kafka
The Elegant Variation
The Home and the World
The Intersection
The Litblog Co-Op
The Literary Saloon
The Literary Thug
The Little Professor
The Midnight Bell
The Mumpsimus
The Pinocchio Theory
The Reading Experience
The Salt-Box
The Weblog
This Public Address
This Space: The Fire’s Blog
Thoughts, Arguments & Rants
Tingle Alley
Uncomplicatedly
Unfogged
University Diaries
Unqualified Offerings
Waggish
What Now?
William Gibson
Wordherders

Friday, February 19, 2010

“I meet them, yes. I go around.”

Posted by Aaron Bady on 02/19/10 at 08:46 AM

I found this Swahili Forum article by Uta Reuster-Jahn absolutely fascinating:


“It can be said that newspaper serials are the most popular form of Swahili literature in Tanzania at the moment. This is all the more important for the assessment of reading culture in Tanzania, as book sales via the established channels of distribution using book stores are weak, or even on decline, as in the case of Ndanda Mission Press’ entertainment books. This decrease seems to be counterbalanced by an increase in fiction published in newspapers. In addition to being read in the papers, it must be noted that a number of serials appear in the form of books after the stories have reached their end in the paper, thus contributing to the book market in Tanzania. However, they tend to be overlooked by scholars because they do not turn up in book stores. Rather, they are sold on the streets using the distribution channels of the papers...

Since the privatisation of media in the 1990s, the number of newspapers and tabloids has multiplied, and serials have become abundant...they are the most popular form of fiction at the moment in terms of quantity of readers. They are especially prevalent in the tabloids, where there often are more than three stories being serialised at a time...However, the most prominent writer specialising in newspaper serials is Eric James Shigongo, who probably is also the most prolific author of popular literature of the last decade in Tanzania altogether. In his case, novel writing has reached a new quality as a well organised, apparently successful, self-owned business. His history as a writer is inextricably connected to his activity in the publishing sector, as he serialises his stories in his own newspapers. Eric James Shigongo is owner and chief executive officer of Global Publishers & General Enterprises Ltd., located in Sinza, Dar es Salaam. Together with Abdallah Mrisho Salawi, he founded the company in 1998, and only then did he start publishing novels too.”

I bought a Shigongo novel from the window of a bus once, a little gem called (in English) The President Loves My Wife. Reuster-Jahn focuses on Shigongo in particular:


“Shigongo’s stories reach a large audience, which, as Shigongo himself is aware, is mainly comprised of women. This was confirmed by sellers of newspapers in the streets whom I asked. They told me that they have female customers who are especially interested in the stories, and buy the newspapers exactly out of this reason....The author’s serials are not only published in Global Publishers’ printed newspapers, but also on their web-site, which was established in July 2007 (Salawi in Bongo Celebrity 08-072008). According to Salawi, the wish of readers to read sequels they might have missed was a major reason to set up the web-site, which within one year had almost two million visitors (Salawi in Bongo Celebrity 08-07-2008). Each sequel on the web-site is provided with a link to maoni (comments), where readers can and do react and comment on the developments of the stories. There they comment on the behaviour or fate of protagonists, but they also evaluate the story by saying whether they like it or not, and what they think of its author. As Shigongo said in the interview, the readers’ comments sometimes can even change the dénouement of the stories. Moreover, according to Shigongo there is also a direct exchange between the writer and his readers, as he receives their emails and even meets them personally. According to information from several Tanzanian writers, this is something that generally marks popular writing in newspapers and fiction books sold in the streets, and it is almost a rule that writers provide their contact details like mobile phone number, or email address, in order to facilitate communication with their readers. It may happen that readers demand a certain story development or complain about a bad treatment of a certain character. This can even lead to a change in the writer’s original plan, as the newspaper serials are often produced more or less simultaneously with publishing, on the basis of a pre-existing draft.

This part of the interview elaborates :


URJ: Do you communicate with the readers? You do not put your telephone number in the newspapers.

ESh: Emails. Ya, they write. I meet them.

URJ: You meet them?

ESh: I meet them, yes. I go around.

URJ: Does that communication contribute to your writing of stories and novels?

ESh: Ya. They will tell you the truth.

URJ: Do you sometimes also get complaints?

ESh: Mhm. A lot. A lot, a lot.

URJ: May you even change the development of the story because of the communication with readers?

ESh: Very much so.

URJ: Isn’t it that when you start publishing a novel in a newspaper, you have already written it from the start to the end?

ESh: No. I write every day.

URJ: Every day for the next issue?

ESh: Mhm. But I know everything. Because everything is in my head. I just put it on the paper.

URJ: But when you get the comments of the readers you may consider them?

ESh: Ya.

URJ: And you aim at what kind of people as your readers?

ESh: All people, but my readers are especially women, and, you know, people from the middle class and below. But it is especially women who read. And the women make other people read too.


Comments

Very interesting as well as informative post.Thanks for providing for us.I read your article with my pleasure.
promotional gift

By on 02/20/10 at 06:17 AM | Permanent link to this comment

Um, the previous comment is spam.

By on 02/21/10 at 01:57 AM | Permanent link to this comment

Add a comment:

Name:
Email:
Location:
URL:

 

Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below: