n Scrutiny2 - The death of the subject? : Subjectivity in post-apartheid literature : a symposium : article

Volume 11, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0041-5359


It might appear intuitive that freedom, or at least the sense of freedom, in the post-apartheid era in South Africa would involve a wild celebration of individuality, and that in art this would mean the abandonment of social reportage and responsibility. However, whilst there are elements of this celebration in post-apartheid society and culture, the work of Ivan Vladislavic suggests that any change, far from extinguishing a sense of commitment, has reignited the question of art's social role and responsibility. The story "Curiouser" from examines the issue of art's ability to have both a social role and to celebrate the individual as unique, even idiosyncratic. This metafictional examination of art ignites the central question of the individual subject and its value within a context of expanded freedom. In order to conduct this examination the paper ranges from an overview of contemporary theories on the individual subject to the application of these theories to postcolonial writing and culture globally, and then to a close reading of "Curiouser" as an exemplar of the way in which individuality is being represented in post-colonial literature today.

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