n English in Africa - The Afrikaner grotesque : mediating between colonial self and colonised other in three post-Apartheid South African novels

Volume 41, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0376-8902



In this paper I will discuss a literary trope that exemplifies the Manichean clarity to which Nixon refers, namely the figure of the oppressive Afrikaner. The term 'Afrikaner' historically describes white Afrikaans-speaking people, and has in the past been used interchangeably with the term 'Boer.' This literally means farmer, but metonymically extends to Afrikaners, who thus valorise their pastoral history. I do not refer below to real Afrikaans-speaking people, but to a mode of literary representation. The same cautions apply to my use of 'civilised' and 'savage,' which need not be taken at face value.

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