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n Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies - Subverting the pastoral : the transcendence of space and place in J.M. Coetzee's : research article

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Abstract


Hierdie artikel ondersoek die wyse waarop "Disgrace" (1999) van J.M. Coetzee - as uitbeelding van 'n postkoloniale en post-moderne fiksionele gebeurtenis - die visie van die pastorale plaasromantradisie vergestalt, problematiseer en ondermyn deur die tradisionele konfigurasies van ruimte en plek te transendeer. Die roman bied 'n taamlike pessimistiese apokaliptiese visie van geslagsrolle, rasseverhoudings asook gesinsbande in postapartheid-Suid-Afrika en vergestalt die sosio-politiese spanning wat kenmerkend is van die Suid-Afrikaanse toneel in terme van persoonlike verhoudings. "Disgrace" herskryf die plaasromantradisie en put uit dié tradisie se angs oor die regmatigheid van (wit) eienaarskap - maar binne die konteks van postapartheid. "Disgrace" betwis dus die pastorale plaasroman se "droomtopografie" van die familieplaas wat regeer word deur die patriarg - 'n droomtopografie wat gehandhaaf word met behulp van die arbeid van onsigbare swart hande en 'n nalatenskap van mag en eienaarskap wat tot in lengte van dae sal duur (Coetzee, 1988:6). As sodanig word die konsep "plaas" uitgebeeld as 'n teenstrydige ruimte wat onderskryf word deur 'n geskiedenis van geweld en onteiening - 'n distopia. Hierdie artikel konseptualiseer "Disgrace" dus as 'n antipastorale plaasroman wat die konsep "plaas" - binne die konteks van die Suid-Afrikaanse werklikheid - deur die strukture van ruimte en plek wat die pastorale plaasroman herkonfigureer, te ondermyn, om te keer en te parodieer.

This article investigates how J.M. Coetzee's "Disgrace" (1999) - portrayed as a postcolonial and postmodern fictional event - embodies, problematises and subverts the vision of the pastoral farm novel tradition by transcending traditional configurations of space and place. The novel offers a rather bleak apocalyptic vision of gender roles, racial relationships and family relations in post-apartheid South Africa and expresses the socio-political tensions pertaining to the South African landscape in terms of personal relationships. As a fictional reworking of the farm novel, "Disgrace" draws on the tradition's anxieties about the rights of (white) ownership, but within a post-apartheid context. As such, "Disgrace" challenges the pastoral farm novel's "dream topo-graphy" (Coetzee, 1988:6) of the family farm ruled by the patriarch - a topography inscribed - with the help of the invisible labour of black hands - as a legacy of power and ownership to be inherited and cultivated in perpetuity. Accordingly, the concept "farm" is portrayed as a contested and liminal space inscribed with a history of violence and dispossession - a dystopia. This article therefore conceptualises "Disgrace" as an antipastoral farm novel that reconfigures the concept "farm" - within the context of the South African reality - by subverting, inverting and parodying the structures of space and place postulated by the pastoral farm novel.

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/content/literat/27/1/EJC61903
2006-04-01
2016-12-07
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