Search results for: south-african-writing-in-transition

South African Writing in Transition

Author : Rita Barnard
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Bringing together leading and emerging scholars, this book asks the question: how has contemporary South African literature grappled with ideas of time and history during the political transition away from apartheid? Reading the work of major South African writers such as J.M. Coetzee, Nadine Gordimer and Ivan Vladislavic as well as contemporary crime fiction, South African Writing in Transition explores how concerns about time and temporality have shaped literary form across the country's literary culture. Establishing new connections between leading literary voices and lesser known works, the book explores themes of truth and reconciliation, disappointment and betrayal.


Author : Duncan Brown
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This book is a collection of interviews with South African writers, cultural workers and academics, from differing ideological positions, about the debates generated by Albie Sachs's paper 'Preparing Ourselves for Freedom'. It aims both to document a particularly interesting period in our cultural history, and to stimulate new responses by placing together disparate, and often conflicting, arguments. What emerges from many of the interviews is the sense that the debate is only just beginning. The discussion which Sachs's paper has generated is the start of a necessary re-evaluation of the relationship between literature and political events in the light of changes within South African society. These interviews collated by Duncan Brown and Bruno van Dyk between May and November 1990 offer a frank and fascinating view of South African writing in transition.

Fiction and Truth in Transition

Author : Oscar Hemer
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What can fiction tell us about the world that journalism and science cannot? This simple yet vast question is the starting-point for an interrogation of the relationship between literary fiction and society's dramatic transformation in South Africa and Argentina over the past several decades. The resulting discursive text borders on both journalism and literature, incorporating reportage, essay, and memoir. (Series: Freiburg Studies in Social Anthropology - Vol. 34)

Transition and Transgression

Author : Judith Inggs
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This book conveys the story of a society in the throes of restructuring itself and struggling to find a new identity. A particularly attractive aspect of this study is the focus on young adult literature and its place in post-apartheid South Africa, as well as its potential use in the classroom and lecture hall. Intersecting these two topics provides a compelling lens for refocusing debate on young adult fiction while offering a new and novel angle on debates in South Africa after the end of apartheid. The multilingual and multicultural South African society has resulted in fiction that differs from other parts of the English-speaking world. This work presents a holistic critique of South African young adult fiction and addresses issues such as change and transformation, identity politics, sexuality, and the issue of the right of white writers to represent and “write” characters of different races. ​

World Literature Today

Author : Djelal Kadir
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At a time of historic transformations and political transitions, this special issue of World Literature Today provides an insight into post-apartheid African literature and its quest for a new identity. Readers will find in eighteen articles, written by distinguished South African writers and critics, a thorough analysis of current trends in poetry, fiction and theatre.

The Worlding of the South African Novel

Author : Jane Poyner
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The Worlding of the South African Novel develops from something of a paradox: that despite momentous political transition from apartheid to democracy, little in South Africa’s socio-economic reality has actually changed. Poyner discusses how the contemporary South African novel engages with this reality. In forms of literary experiment, the novels open up intellectual spaces shaping or contesting the idea of the “new South Africa”. The mediatising of truth at the TRC hearings, how best to deal with a spectacular yet covert past, the shaping for “unimagined communities” of an inclusive public sphere, HIV/AIDS as the preeminent site testing capitalist modernity, white anxieties about land reform, disease as environmental injustice and the fostering of an enabling restorative cultural memory: Poyner argues that through these key nodes of intellectual thought, the novels speak to recent debates on world-literature to register the “shock” of an uneven modernity produced by a capitalist world economy.

South Africa Limits To Change

Author : Hein Marais
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Drawing on the rich structural and political understandings of radical South African intellectuals, this book explains why the South African government has been unable to breach the boundaries of change erected by the privileged classes. It reveals why it has adopted conservative economic policies, and why the country's popular movement has failed to press home more radical opinions. Hein Marais compellingly probes the hidden dynamics of South Africa's transition, arguing that the democratic breakthrough was much less open-ended than generally believed.

Losing the Plot

Author : Leon de Kock
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In Losing the Plot, well-known scholar and writer Leon de Kock offers a lively and wide-ranging analysis of postapartheid South African writing which, he contends, has morphed into a far more flexible and multifaceted entity than its predecessor. If postapartheid literature’s founding moment was the ‘transition’ to democracy, writing over the ensuing years has viewed the Mandelan project with increasing doubt. Instead, authors from all quarters are seen to be reporting, in different ways and from divergent points of view, on what is perceived to be a pathological public sphere in which the plot – the mapping and making of social betterment – appears to have been lost. The compulsion to detect forensically the actual causes of such loss of direction has resulted in the prominence of creative nonfiction. A significant adjunct in the rise of this is the new media, which sets up a ‘wounded’ space within which a ‘cult of commiseration’ compulsively and repeatedly plays out the facts of the day on people’s screens. This, De Kock argues, is reproduced in much postapartheid writing. And, although fictional forms persist in genres such as crime fiction, with their tendency to overplot, more serious fiction underplots, yielding to the imprint of real conditions to determine the narrative construction.

Writing Past Apartheid

Author : Margaret Carol Mervis
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Space Place and Gendered Violence in South African Writing

Author : S. Gunne
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Exploring the relationship between space, place, and gendered violence as depicted in a range of South African writing, Gunne examines the social and political conditions of exceptionality during and after apartheid. Writers covered include: Hilda Bernstein, J.M. Coetzee, Achmat Dangor, Ruth First, Nadine Gordimer, and Antjie Krog.

Writing Namibia Literature in Transition

Author : Krishnamurthy, Sarala
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Writing Namibia: Literature in Transition is a cornucopia of extraordinary and fascinating material which will be a rich resource for students, teachers and readers interested in Namibia. The text is wide ranging, defining literature in its broadest terms. In its multifaceted approach, the book covers many genres traditionally outside academic literary discourse and debate. The 22 chapters cover literature of all categories in Namibia since independence: written and performance poetry, praise poetry, Oshiwambo orature, drama, novels, autobiography, women’s writing, subaltern studies, literature in German, Ju|’hoansi and Otjiherero, children’s literature, Afrikaans fiction, story-telling through film, publishing, and the interface between literature and society. The inclusive approach is the book’s strength as it allows a wide range of subjects to be addressed, including those around gender, race and orature which have been conventionally silenced.

Apartheid and Beyond

Author : Rita Barnard
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Apartheid and Beyond offers trenchant, historically sensitive readings of writings by Coetzee, Gordimer, Fugard, Tlali, Dike, Magona, and Mda, focusing on the intimate relationship between place, subjectivity, and literary form. It also explores the way apartheid functioned in its day-to-day operations as a geographical system of control, exerting its power through such spatial mechanisms as residential segregation, bantustans, passes, and prisons. Throughout the study, Rita Barnard provides historical context by highlighting key events such as colonial occupation, the creation of black townships, migration, forced removals, the emergence of informal settlements, and the gradual integration of white cities. Apartheid and Beyond is both an innovative account of an important body of politically inflected literature and an imaginative reflection on the socio-spatial aspects of the transition from apartheid to democracy.

Writing South Africa

Author : Derek Attridge
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Leading South African writers and commentators examine literature during and after the apartheid era.

Voices of Justice and Reason

Author : Geoffrey V. Davis
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Over the past fifty years transformations of great moment have taken place in South Africa. Apartheid and the subsequent transition to a democratic, non-racial society in particular have exercised a profound effect on the practice of literature. This study traces the development of literature under apartheid, then seeks to identify the ways in which writers and theatre practitioners are now facing the challenges of a new social order. The main focus is on the work of black writers, prime among them Matsemela Manaka, Mtutuzeli Matshoba and Richard Rive, who, as politically committed members of the oppressed majority, bore witness to the "black experience" through their writing. Despite the draconian censorship system they were able to address the social problems caused by racial discrimination in all areas of life, particularly through forced removals, the migrant labour system, and the creation of the homelands. Their writing may be read both as a comprehensive record of everyday life under apartheid and as an alternative cultural history of South Africa. Particular attention is paid to theatre as a barometer of social change in South Africa. The concluding chapters consider how in the current period of transition writers and arts institutions have set about reassessing their priorities, redefining their function and seeking new aesthetic directions in taking up the challenge of imagining a new society.

The Columbia Guide to South African Literature in English Since 1945

Author : Gareth Cornwell
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From the outset, South Africa's history has been marked by division and conflict along racial and ethnic lines. From 1948 until 1994, this division was formalized in the National Party's policy of apartheid. Because apartheid intruded on every aspect of private and public life, South African literature was preoccupied with the politics of race and social engineering. Since the release from prison of Nelson Mandela in 1990, South Africa has been a new nation-in-the-making, inspired by a nonracial idealism yet beset by poverty and violence. South African writers have responded in various ways to Njabulo Ndebele's call to "rediscover the ordinary." The result has been a kaleidoscope of texts in which evolving cultural forms and modes of identity are rearticulated and explored. An invaluable guide for general readers as well as scholars of African literary history, this comprehensive text celebrates the multiple traditions and exciting future of the South African voice. Although the South African Constitution of 1994 recognizes no fewer than eleven official languages, English has remained the country's literary lingua franca. This book offers a narrative overview of South African literary production in English from 1945 to the postapartheid present. An introduction identifies the most interesting and noteworthy writing from the period. Alphabetical entries provide accurate and objective information on genres and writers. An appendix lists essential authors published before 1945.

South Africa in Transition

Author : Aletta J. Norval
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South Africa in Transition utilises new theoretical perspectives to describe and explain central dimensions of the democratic transition in South Africa during the late 1980s and early 1990s, covering changes in the politics of gender and education, the political discourses of the ANC, NP and the white right, constructions of identity in South Africa's black townships and rural areas, the role of political violence in the transition, and accounts of the democratization process itself.

Against Normalization

Author : Anthony O'Brien
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At the end of apartheid, under pressure from local and transnational capital and the hegemony of Western-style parliamentary democracy, South Africans felt called upon to normalize their conceptions of economics, politics, and culture in line with these Western models. In Against Normalization, however, Anthony O’Brien examines recent South African literature and theoretical debate which take a different line, resisting this neocolonial outcome, and investigating the role of culture in the formation of a more radically democratic society. O’Brien brings together an unusual array of contemporary South African writing: cultural theory and debate, worker poetry, black and white feminist writing, Black Consciousness drama, the letters of exiled writers, and postapartheid fiction and film. Paying subtle attention to well-known figures like Nadine Gordimer, Bessie Head, and Njabulo Ndebele, but also foregrounding less-studied writers like Ingrid de Kok, Nise Malange, Maishe Maponya, and the Zimbabwean Dambudzo Marechera, he reveals in their work the construction of a political aesthetic more radically democratic than the current normalization of nationalism, ballot-box democracy, and liberal humanism in culture could imagine. Juxtaposing his readings of these writers with the theoretical traditions of postcolonial thinkers about race, gender, and nation like Paul Gilroy, bell hooks, and Gayatri Spivak, and with others such as Samuel Beckett and Vaclav Havel, O’Brien adopts a uniquely comparatist and internationalist approach to understanding South African writing and its relationship to the cultural settlement after apartheid. With its appeal to specialists in South African fiction, poetry, history, and politics, to other Africanists, and to those in the fields of colonial, postcolonial, race, and gender studies, Against Normalization will make a significant intervention in the debates about cultural production in the postcolonial areas of global capitalism.

Remembering the Nation Dismembering Women

Author : Meg Samuelson
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Remembering the Nation, Dismembering Women? explores the ways in which the imaginative reconstruction of post-apartheid South Africa as a 'rainbow nation' has been produced from images of women that dismember their bodies and disremember their historical presence. From Krotoa-Eva and Sarah Bartmann to Nongqawuse and Winnie Mandela, author Meg Samuelson tackles the figurations of some of the most controversial and significant women in the making of modern South Africa. Drawing on feminist, postcolonial, and post-structuralist theory, and close textual readings of literary and cultural texts produced during the first decade of democracy, her analysis offers a provocative critique of the formation of nationalist and feminist collectivities.

A Companion to African Literatures

Author : Olakunle George
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How have African literatures unfolded in their rich diversity in our modern era of decolonization, nationalisms, and extensive transnational movement of peoples? How have African writers engaged urgent questions regarding race, nation, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality? And how do African literary genres interrelate with traditional oral forms or audio-visual and digital media? A Companion to African Literatures addresses these issues and many more. Consisting of essays by distinguished scholars and emerging leaders in the field, this book offers rigorous, deeply engaging discussions of African literatures on the continent and in diaspora. It covers the four main geographical regions (East and Central Africa, North Africa, Southern Africa, and West Africa), presenting ample material to learn from and think with. Chapters focus on literatures in European languages officially used in Africa --English, French, and Portuguese-- as well as homegrown African languages: Afrikaans, Amharic, Arabic, Swahili, and Yoruba. With its lineup of lucid and authoritative analyses, readers will find in A Companion to African Literatures a distinctive, rewarding academic resource.

Black African Literature in English 1997 1999

Author : Bernth Lindfors
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This volume lists the work produced on anglophone black African literature between 1997 and 1999. Containing thousands of entries, it covers books, periodical articles, papers in edited collections and selective coverage of other relevant sources.