From Nation to Network: Blog and Facebook Fiction from Southern Africa
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- Internet Access, Affordability And Use
: Stephanie Bosch Santana
This article argues that African digital fiction must be considered in relation to both virtual and material networks of production and circulation in order to understand its “place,” literally and figuratively, in the broader literary landscape. Although there is a tendency to conceive of the Internet as a “placeless” and “global” space that is disconnected from specific locations, an examination of current serialized fiction from southern Africa published on Facebook and blogs shows that these forms often have local, national, and regional zones of influence in addition to drawing broader African, diasporic, and global audiences. The form of the online diary, the most successful example of which to date is Mike Maphoto's Diary of a Zulu Girl, has proliferated throughout the region. This new, localized form—often written partially in African languages—connects cities throughout southern Africa and creates a network of real and virtual reading communities at various scales.
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