Melamu, Moteane J
RightsCentre for Continuing Education, University of Botswana
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The lecture charts the development of the speaker as a student and teacher of English Literature. This development is conceived in terms of a metaphorical ‘journey’, beginning from early childhood, with all the difficulties attendant upon the attempt to learn English in unconducive, non-English-speaking conditions in an African ghetto. The journey proceeds from the speaker’s progression from primary school, through to secondary school, to university, with all the impediments to learn a foreign language and to come to grips with its literature. The journey continues with the speaker’s confrontation with the challenges of teaching literature at tertiary level. This journey is seen as motivated by the travel motif in selected classical, traditional English and African literature texts, in which the protagonists are, like the speaker, involved in “journeys” of discovery and self-realisation. But whereas the quests of these protagonists end with a kind of “resolution”, the speaker concludes that his particular quest, being a literary venture, must of necessity be infinite.