Inhabiting the "New" South Africa
Inhabiting the "New" South Africa. Ethical Encounters at the Race-Gender Interface in Four Post-Apartheid Novels by Zoë Wicomb, Sindiwe Magona, Nadine Gordimer and Farida Karodia
ISBN 978-3-86821-015-6, 248 S., kt., € 26,50 (2008)
(ELCH - Studies in English Literary and Cultural History, Bd. 31)
Located at the interface of literary and cultural studies, this study explores the multi-layered processes of transformation in post-apartheid South Africa as well as their narrative (re)productions and (re)presentations in four novels by South African women writers: Zoë Wicomb’s David’s Story, Sindiwe Magona’s Mother to Mother, Nadine Gordimer’s The Pickup and Farida Karodia’s Boundaries. Based on a threefold theoretical framework, the “new” South Africa is regarded as a perpetually unfolding, transdifferent time-space, in which cultural identities must be negotiated at the interface of multiply intersecting affiliations and in which the boundary lines of apartheid’s categories of difference have become increasingly blurred so that the ensuing experience of uncertainty demands an ethical encounter with the (cultural) Other. Juxtaposing the readings of four literary texts reveals striking similarities, but also pertinent divergences in their renditions of the Rainbow Nation and, above all, engenders a heterogeneous chorus of South African voices.