By Rita Barnard
Apartheid and Beyond deals trenchant, traditionally delicate readings of writings through Coetzee, Gordimer, Fugard, Tlali, Dike, Magona, and Mda, targeting the intimate dating among position, subjectivity, and literary shape. It additionally explores the best way apartheid functioned in its daily operations as a geographical approach of keep watch over, exerting its strength via such spatial mechanisms as residential segregation, bantustans, passes, and prisons. during the research, Rita Barnard offers historic context by way of highlighting key occasions akin to colonial profession, the construction of black townships, migration, compelled removals, the emergence of casual settlements, and the sluggish integration of white towns. Apartheid and Beyond is either an leading edge account of an enormous physique of politically inflected literature and an imaginitive mirrored image at the socio-spatial features of the transition from apartheid to democracy.
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Additional info for Apartheid and Beyond: South African Writers and the Politics of Place
These lines serve to underscore the difficulties that beset the life of Michael K, the gardener, and that have historically beset South Africa, the troubled garden colony: Cadmus agit grates peregrinaeque oscula terrae Figet et ignotos montes agrosque salutat . . superas delapsa per auras Pallas adest montaeque iubet supponere terrae viperos dentes, populi increnta futuri Pressing his lips to foreign soil, greeting the unfamiliar mountain and plains, Cadmus gave thanks . . Descending from above, Pallas told him to plow and sow the earth with the serpent’s teeth, which would grow into a future nation.
20 It is true, of course, that generic instability is perhaps the most telling characteristic of self-reflexive fiction. Coetzee himself notes that what clearly distinguishes the postmodern text from the realist novels of, say, Daniel Defoe or Thomas Hardy, is that Moll Flanders and Jude never pause to ponder what kind of text it is they seem to be inhabiting (DP ). And In the Heart of the Country is no exception to this postmodern tendency: Magda constantly questions what kind of action or event might justify her insubstantial presence in the elusive heart of the country: not Greek tragedy, despite the imagined ax-murder and the surrounding “theatre of stone”(HC ); or Gothic romance, despite her brief fantasy of waiting for “a castle to crumble into the tarn” (HC ); or even the colonial idyll, with its dreary possibilities of marriage to a neighbor’s second son or dalliance with an itinerant schoolmaster.
In such isolated and singular texts as Story of an African Farm, “phase two” literature reacts to the cultural tourism of the first phase by asserting an inescapable rootedness in the landscape and the emotional horizon of the colony. ”10 It is ironic, therefore, that this literature was received in the metropolitan center, where Schreiner had to find her readers, as indistinguishable from “phase one” writing: Story of an African Farm was largely seen as bringing an entertainingly novel “sense of place” to English literature.
Apartheid and Beyond: South African Writers and the Politics of Place by Rita Barnard