oa Alternation - The Afrikaans Farm Novel and Idealised Sons: C.M. van den Heever's Farm Novels as narratives of the nation

Volume 4, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



In this paper I argue that in conservative fictions of nation-building, fictions that are often assumed to make only affirmative use of the particular past they care to remember and construct, there can be found contradictory and more subtly 'progressive' elements. These are sometimes at odds with expectations of an unsophisticated singularity of purpose. As an illustration I examine the work of the Afrikaans writer C.M. van den Heever, placing his farm novels within the larger context of his ideas about the evolution of what he regards as the spirit of the nation ('Die Afrikaanse gedagte', or the Afrikaans idea).

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