n Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies - Proewe van 'n rekonstruksie : deur Henk van Woerden : research article




This article focuses on Van Woerden's triptych and with the emphasis on the latter. When the recurring themes and the continuous autobiographical stance in this triptych are scrutinised, it becomes clear that this triptych is in actual fact a prose cycle, focusing on the complex relationship between Van Woerden and South Africa. Van Woerden's third novel ostensibly recreates the murder of Dr. Verwoerd, late Prime Minister of South Africa in the apartheid era. In fact it actually traces the evolution of Demitrios Tsafendas, murderer of Verwoerd. In the novel Tsafendas is portrayed as a deeply tragic figure, someone who suffered severely from psychosis brought about by the fact that he could never come to terms with the fact that he was a "coloured" person in a racially divided world. Due to his coloured heritage in a racially divided world, Tsafendas (and Verwoerd) are depicted as archetypical migrants - and thus alter-egos of Van Woerden himself. This novel is thus also a profound analysis of the exile.


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