n English in Africa - "Before God This Was Their Country" : history and guilt in Stuart Cloete's and the Voortrekker Monument

Volume 40, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0376-8902



This epigraph from the opening of Stuart Cloete's 1937 novel , about the Great Trek, the 1830s migration of Afrikaners into the interior of South Africa, illustrates the literary paradox that the novel embodies. describes the Great Trek in romantic, even loving terms, yet it was banned in South Africa by descendants of the trekkers who themselves frequently romanticized the Trek. While initially merely curious, this paradox ultimately provides insight into the nationalist project of twentieth-century white South Africa, and into the role of literature and representation in that project.

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