Koloniale en postkoloniale ontmoetings : representasie en identiteit in die romans Eilande (Dan Sleigh) en Pelican Bay (Nelleke Noordervliet)
Thesis (MA (Afrikaans and Dutch))—University of Stellenbosch, 2007.
This study investigates the way in which the representation of history and of the "other" coheres with the construction of the identity of the characters in Eilande (2002) by Dan Sleigh and Pelican Bay (2002) by Nelleke Noordervliet. Initially the research contextualises the authors and their novels by means of a short biographical introduction on the two authors and their different oeuvre’s, as well as an outline of the reception history of the two chosen postcolonial novels. The theoretical background which follows, gives a review on postcolonial literature in general and, more specific, in the Netherlands and South Africa respectively. Different perspectives on representation of the history and the representation of the "other" are provided, with specific attention to the relationship between hybridity, syncretism and identity. These theoretical insights form the basis for the analysis of the two novels, where the relationships and differences between these two postcolonial texts are highlighted. The conclusion is that Eilande and Pelican Bay could be seen as, firstly postcolonial, as both novels provide criticism on the colonial order in different ways and, secondly, were published during a period which followed the colonial era. Hybridity is an important term in this study, with reference to the forming of identity of some of the prominent characters. The conclusion is that the term dynamic cultural hybridity could be used in discussions about postcolonial mixed identities. Although both novels use techniques to give a voice to voiceless marginal subjects, shortcomings in their portrayal as fully-fledged characters do, however, exist. Both novels also have as an ultimate objective to prove that it is impossible to know history and the "other" and that no one truth exists. The motif of islands which appears frequently in both novels is related to aspects like identity, exile and alienation. In conclusion it is not only apparent how strongly the different characters in the novels are formed by their socio-historical contexts, but also from the approach of the authors in their contemporary criticism on oppressing systems like the VOC and/or slavery.