1887

n Journal of Literary Studies - Paradise regained and lost again : South African literature in the post-apartheid era : conference proceedings

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Abstract

This article surveys South African prose in English and Afrikaans published after 1994. With the first democratic elections a new era began. The political and social changes are obviously reflected in the prose that was written in the previous decade. There are striking thematic parallels between the literary works in English and Afrikaans. The demise of apartheid led to a euphoric mood but very soon a new realism set in. A number of works appeared in which history was rewritten. Not only the immediate apartheid past but also the earlier history of South Africa is highlighted. The past is demythologised and the previously hidden sides of history are exposed. Moreover a lot of attention is paid to the new South Africa. The old parameters are no longer valid. The whites have lost their political power. This realisation often leads to a crisis of identity. New rulers also introduce new customs. The changes which have taken place are not always regarded as improvements. And then there are all the other seemingly insoluble problems such as the crime wave and the aids epidemic. But these problems are sometimes seen as catalysts for change as they can bring the races closer together. Both in English and in Afrikaans prose the hope is expressed that the transformation process will ultimately lead to a better South Africa.

Hierdie artikel skets 'n oorsig van die Suid-Afrikaanse Engelstalige en Afrikaanstalige prosa wat na 1994 gepubliseer is. Met die eerste demokratiese verkiesings het 'n nuwe era aangebreek. Die politieke en maatskaplike ontwikkelings kry natuurlik hulle beslag in die prosa van die afgelope dekade. Daar is ook duidelike tematiese ooreenkomste tussen die Engelstalige en die Afrikaanstalige werke. Die einde van apartheid het aanleiding gegee tot 'n euforiese stemming maar al gou is die eerste entoesiasme getemper. Daar het baie werke verskyn waarin die geskiedenis herskryf is. Nie net die onmiddellike apartheidsverlede het onder die loep gekom nie maar ook die vroeëre geskiedenis van Suid-Afrika. Die verlede is gedemitologiseer en die verborge kante daarvan belig. Baie aandag is ook bestee aan die nuwe Suid-Afrika. Die ou parameters het hul geldigheid verloor. Vir die blankes het dit die verlies van hul politieke mag beteken. Dit gee dikwels aanleiding tot 'n identiteitskrisis. Maar nuwe regeerders bring ook nuwe gewoontes. Die veranderings wat plaasgevind het, is nie altyd verbeterings nie. En dan is daar nog al die ander probleme waarmee Suid-Afrika te kampe het, soos die toenemende kriminaliteit en die Vigs-epidemie. Maar juis hierdie probleme kan 'n katalisator wees vir verandering omdat dit die rasse nader aan mekaar kan bring. Die hoop bly sowel in die Engelstalige as in die Afrikaanstalige werke bestaan dat die transformasieproses 'n beter Suid-Afrika tot gevolg sal hê.

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/content/litstud/21/1_2/EJC62385
2005-06-01
2016-12-09
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