n Mousaion - Conflicts and contradictions : fantasy and realism in Sello Duiker's




In , Sello Duiker (2006) attempts to combine reality and fantasy in such a way that the fantastic becomes believable. But there is a fundamental contradiction at the heart of the novel. Has Duiker written a South African fantasy reflecting the reality of the environment in which it is set while also successfully incorporating the fantastic and the supernatural? The juxtaposition of the credible and incredible, and the fluidity between the two, may be regarded as a reflection of the oxymoronic nature of magical realism. However, the contradictions and inconsistencies in this novel inevitably undermine its success. The final message is one of failure and disillusionment, in which fantasy and reality are ultimately shown to be uneasy companions. Despite the initial message of hope, at the end of the narrative, Nolitye's life has not fundamentally changed. The grim reality of the township remains, and her reunion with her parents reinforces her vulnerability and dependence rather than contributing towards her growth and journey towards maturity and sense of individual identity.


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