South African Music Studies

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Storing and storying lives: The biographical illusion in three musicians’ autobiographies

L Dalamba


This article analyses autobiographical texts written by three formerly exiled South African musicians: Miriam Makeba, Joe Mogotsi, and Hugh Masekela. As oral testimonies, the autobiographies are important to South Africa’s music-historiographic research. I suggest here that the musicians’ narration of their past experiences may also be read as stories that illuminate not only what the musicians remember, but also how this remembrance is collaboratively produced. Focusing specifically on the notion of the ‘self ’ and authorship, I question whether these texts allow a chronotopically positioned autobiographical self to emerge and its micro-narratives to be told.
AJOL African Journals Online