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n Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies - "Accused by the place and face of the other" : negotiations with complicity in the work of Antjie Krog and Yvonne Vera

Volume 30, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0258-2279
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Abstract

This article examines how Antjie Krog and Yvonne Vera use literature to explore the issue of complicity in South Africa and Zimbabwe. Both societies have histories that are characterised by violence and trauma and neither society has engaged with these past abuses in a comprehensive way. Krog and Vera's work reveal their awareness that a failure to deal with the pain of others in a responsible manner renders societies vulnerable to a repetition of past abuses. Any responsible engagement with the pain of others must involve acknowledging one's own complicity in those abuses, regardless of how indirect one's involvement may have been. By reading selected extracts of Krog and Vera's work in terms of Mark Sanders' theory of complicity, I illustrate how these authors facilitate a responsible engagement with the pain of their characters. The article will pay particular attention to how these authors expose broad complicity in the pain of individuals - individuals who are located at the intersections between racial and gender oppression.


Hierdie artikel ondersoek die wyse waarop Antjie Krog en Yvonne Vera literatuur gebruik vir 'n verkenning van die kwessie van medepligtigheid in Suid-Afrika en Zimbabwe. Die geskiedenis van albei samelewings word gekenmerk deur geweld en trauma en nie een van hierdie samelewings het op 'n omvattende wyse met historiese misbruike gehandel nie. Die werk van sowel Krog as Vera bewys dat hulle daarvan bewus is dat die versuim om die pyn van ander te hanteer samelewings kwesbaar kan maak vir 'n herhaling van die misbruike van die verlede. Enige verantwoordelike omgaan met die pyn van ander behoort ook 'n erkenning in te sluit dat 'n mens self medepligtig aan daardie misbruike was, ongeag hoe indirek sulke betrokkenheid ook al was. Deur geselekteerde uittreksels van Krog en Vera se werk te lees in die lig van Mark Sanders se teorie van medepligtigheid, demonstreer ek hoe hierdie skrywers 'n verantwoordelike omgaan met die pyn van hulle karakters moontlik maak. Die artikel sal in besonder aandag skenk aan die wyse waarop hierdie outeurs medepligtigheid aan die pyn van individue blootlĂȘ - individue wat hulself by die snypunte van ras- en genderonderdrukking bevind.

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/content/literat/30/3/EJC62114
2009-12-01
2016-12-10

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