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n Journal of Literary Studies - Confession and public life in post-apartheid South Africa : a Foucauldian reading of Antjie Krog's Country of My Skull

Volume 22, Issue 3_4
  • ISSN : 0256-4718
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Abstract

Truth commissions around the world have given the technique of confession a new public currency and political power. Many works of literature thematising these commissions have also adopted the technique of confession for literary purposes. In this paper I bring Foucault's understanding of the technique of confession, and his discourse on the role of public intellectuals in modernity, to bear upon an examination of Antjie Krog's literary reflection of the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), entitled Country of My Skull (1998). I look at how this text, and Krog's subsequent public intellectual status as a witness of the TRC, perpetuate the technique of confession without problematising it in ways that Foucault's work would suggest is necessary.

Waarheidskommissies die wêreld oor het die tegniek van skuldbelydenis met 'n nuwe openbare geldigheid en politieke mag beklee. Talle literêre werke wat hierdie kommissies dokumenteer het ook die tegniek van skuldbelydenis vir literêre doeleindes ingespan. In hierdie referaat pas ek Foucault se opvatting van die tegniek van skuldbelydenis en sy diskoers oor die rol van openbare intellektuele in moderniteit toe op 'n ondersoek na Antjie Krog se werk Country of My Skull (1998). Ek kyk hoe hierdie werk, en Krog se daaropvolgende openbare intellektuele status as getuie van die Waarheids-en-versoeningskommissie (WVK) die skuldbelydenistegniek perpetueer sonder om dit te problematiseer op wyses wat Foucault se werk suggereer noodsaaklik sou wees.

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/content/litstud/22/3_4/EJC62411
2006-12-01
2016-12-10

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