1887

n Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies - Beyond the walls of the lunatic asylum : Christopher Hope's early fiction : research article

Volume 25, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0258-2279
USD

 

Abstract

This article examines an under-explored aspect of Christopher Hope's early fiction: its capacity to suggest the potential for imaginative and psychological freedom through its comic, carnivalesque qualities. Hope produced various novels and stories set in South Africa during the 1950s and 1960s, including (1981), (1987) and the short story collection (1990). It is argued that Hope's vision in these works tends to be perceived as essentially satirical, ultimately limited by bleakness and pessimism; while the carnivalesque, potentially liberatory aspects of his writing tend to be overlooked. By utilising comic and carnivalesque features Hope's work indeed offers creative, liberated ways of apprehending reality. Mikhail Bakhtin's discussion of the ability of the carnivalesque to open up new ways of seeing, through the "nonofficial" versions of reality that it proffers, is particularly relevant in this regard. It is argued that this latter aspect of Hope's work is especially significant, bearing in mind the sense of constraint and confinement that seemed to dominate much of South African fiction during the apartheid era and that still remains a key concern in many postapartheid novels.


Hierdie artikel ondersoek 'n aspek van Christopher Hope se vroeëre fiksie wat tot dusver baie min aandag gekry het, naamlik die vermoë daarvan om verbeeldings- en psigologiese vryheid te suggereer op grond van die komiese en karnavaleske eienskappe van sy werk. Hope het gedurende die vyftiger- en sestigerjare verskeie romans en verhale wat in Suid-Afrika afspeel, die lig laat sien, onder meer (1981), (1987) en die kortverhaalbundel (1990). Die artikel toon aan dat die persepsie dat die perspektief wat Hope se werk bied, satiries geïnterpreteer kan word en deur uitsigloosheid en pessimisme aan bande gelê word, oorstyg kan word kan word deur te let op die aanwending van karnaveleske grepe en die potensieel bevrydende aspek daarvan wat dikwels oor die hoof gesien word. Deur die gebruik van komiese en karnavaleske tegnieke bied Hope se werk 'n kreatiewe, bevrydende manier om die werklikheid te benader. Mikhail Bakhtin se bespreking van die karnavaleske se vermoë om deur "nie-amptelike" weergawes van die werklikheid 'n heeltemal nuwe perspektief op die werklikheid te bied, is in hierdie opsig veral tersaaklik. Laasgenoemde faset van Hope se werk is belangrik as in gedagte gehou word dat die idee van beperking en inperking oorheersend was in Suid-Afrikaanse fiksie gedurende die apartheidsera, en selfs tans - na apartheid - nog 'n kerngegewe in baie romans is.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/literat/25/2/EJC61801
2004-08-01
2016-12-11

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error