n Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies - Alan Paton's unpublished fiction (1922-1934) : an initial appraisal : research article

Volume 28, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0258-2279



This article considers selected issues in the early fiction of Alan Paton, which is in manuscript form: three novels or parts of novels namely, ''Ship of Truth'' (1922-1923), ''Brother Death'' (1930), ''John Henry Dane'' (1934b), the novel / novella ''Secret for seven'' (1934d), and the short stories ''Little Barbee'', (1928?) and ''Calvin Doone'' (1930a). Attention is given to the first novel. A summary of the findings follows: even though Paton's longer unpublished fiction is religiously earnest and at times rhetorically effective, it is simplistic and tends to perpetuate the white, English-speaking patriarchal hegemony of Natal, rather than offer any sustained critique of it. These works are set against the background of the Natal Midlands in the 1920s and 1930s. The shorter fiction is slightly different in nature.

Hierdie artikel handel oor geselekteerde onderwerpe in die vroeëre fiksie van Alan Paton, wat nog steeds in manuskripvorm is: drie romans of dele van romans, naamlik ''Ship of Truth'' (1922-1923), ''Brother Death'' (1930a), ''John Henry Dane'' (1934b), 'n roman of kort roman, ''Secret for seven'' (1934d), en die kortverhale ''Little Barbee'' (1928?) en ''Calvin Doone'' (1930b). Daar word op die eerste roman gefokus. Paton se langer ongepubliseerde fiksie is toegewyd en godsdienstig, en soms retories suksesvol, maar dit is ook simplisties en geneig om die wit, Engelssprekende hegemonie in Natal gedurende die twintiger- en dertigerjare voort te sit, eerder as om dit deeglik te bevraagteken. Hierdie werke speel af teen die agtergrond van die Natalse Middellande in die twintiger- en dertigerjare. Die aard van die korter fiksie is ietwat anders.

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