By Rita Barnard
Apartheid and Beyond bargains trenchant, traditionally delicate readings of writings through Coetzee, Gordimer, Fugard, Tlali, Dike, Magona, and Mda, concentrating on the intimate dating among position, subjectivity, and literary shape. It additionally explores the best way apartheid functioned in its day by day operations as a geographical approach of regulate, exerting its energy via such spatial mechanisms as residential segregation, bantustans, passes, and prisons. through the research, Rita Barnard offers old context by way of highlighting key occasions corresponding to colonial profession, the production 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 immense physique of politically inflected literature and an resourceful mirrored image at the socio-spatial features of the transition from apartheid to democracy.
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Extra info for Apartheid and Beyond: South African Writers and the Politics of Place
HC –) The lines remind us that the history of agricultural enclosure, as Raymond Williams demonstrates so well in The Country and the City, is a history not just of settlement but of displacement and exclusion. ” This displacement is the secret historical precondition of the Afrikaner’s idyllic map of rural homesteading: the old tracings from A to B are the submerged and erased text that challenges the settlers’ elaborately inscribed title to the land. The logic of the dream topography imposed on this originary script requires, of course, that the black man’s subsequent inscriptive acts of digging and plowing should leave no trace, that they should be legally and culturally invisible.
Although its key tropes are absence, silence, and the failure of language, this topography of desolation must also be apprehended as a form of writing. Though it does not inscribe the land with the obvious signatures of culture and cultivation, it does project on it an inscrutable blankness. In this blankness—much the same blankness that fascinated Conrad’s Marlow in Heart of Darkness when he pored over maps as a boy—Coetzee sees evidence of the exercise of a certain historical will: a desire “to see as silent and empty, a land that has been, if not full of human figures, not empty of them either; that is arid and infertile, perhaps, but not inhospitable to human life, and certainly not uninhabited” (WW ).
The text continually reminds us that the farm is entirely fictive, that there is no “stone desert” but only a “stony monologue” (HC ). Magda, the narrator of this monologue, repeatedly and regretfully insists that the panorama before her depends entirely upon her consciousness and her words: “Seated here I hold the goats and stones, the entire farm and even its environs, as far as I know them, suspended in this cool, alienating medium of mine, exchanging them item by item for my word counters.
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