1887

n Journal of Literary Studies - Torn between Islam and the other : South African novelists on cross-cultural relationships : conference proceedings

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Abstract

In this essay the depiction of intimate relationships between Muslim and non-Muslim is analysed and discussed with reference to some present-day South African novels. The work of internationally known authors Achmat Dangor and Elsa Joubert, as well as that of the less-established but now prize-winning Rayda Jacobs, can be studied as portrayals of the personal and political conflicts ensuing from the relationships between people of opposing religions and cultures. Emotional and social insecurities, and the individual unease within a restrictive group environment, are recurring themes. All three writers portray their characters as part of a fragmented and hybrid society; one in which racial, cultural and religious diversity coexists warily. The concepts of "self" and "other" in this ambivalent post-colonial world are experienced as changing, uncertain and contradictory entities. The three authors can each be regarded as a representative of a different society, but together they are also voices contributing to the same discourse. The historical reality of the Muslim in Africa - whether as slave, trader, political activist or religious outsider - is translated into fictions where the brittle personal relationships also point to larger issues of rootlessness, multicultural relationships and the search for personal identity.

Hierdie opstel gee verslag van 'n ondersoek na die uitbeelding van intieme verbintenisse tussen Moslem en nie-Moslem in die romans van drie bekende Suid- Afrikaanse outeurs: Achmat Dangor, Rayda Jacobs en Elsa Joubert. Die narratiewe kan gelees word as artikulasies van die persoonlike en politieke konflikte wat die verhouding tussen mense van botsende gelowe en kulture begelei. Emosionele en sosiale twyfel, en die individuele stryd binne die beperkinge van 'n voorskriftelike leefomgewing, is motiewe wat herhalend voorkom. In al drie romans word die karakters geplaas binne 'n gefragmenteerde, hibriede maatskappy; een waarin religieuse, kulturele en etniese diversiteit ongemaklik saambestaan. Die persepsies van "self" en "ander" in hierdie postkoloniale opset is veranderlik, onseker en teenstrydig. Die drie skrywers wat elkeen as verteenwoordigend van verskillende kulturele groeperings beskou kan word, neem deur hierdie romans aan dieselfde diskoers deel. Die historiese werklikheid van die Moslem in Afrika - as slaaf, handelaar, politieke aktivis of godsdienstige randfiguur - kry fiksioneel vorm in die persoonlike verhoudings wat heenwys na groter kwessies rondom identiteitsoeke en transkulturalisme.

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/content/litstud/21/1_2/EJC62388
2005-06-01
2016-12-03
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