Writing, reading ... reconciliation? : the role of literature in post-apartheid South Africa

Bonthuys, Eugene (2002-12)

Thesis (MA)--University of Stellenbosch, 2002.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Socially responsible writing has been a feature of South African literature for many years. Under apartheid, many novels dealt with apartheid, as it was one of the main features of our social landscape. The end of apartheid did not however bring about the end of a need for socially responsible writing. South Africa is still faced with many problems, one of which is reconciliation. This thesis investigates whether reconciliation may have become a new theme in South African novels, and whether these novels could playa role in assisting the process of reconciliation in the country. For this purpose, three South African works are analysed, namely Country of My Skull by Antjie Krog, Smell of Apples by Mark Behr and Disgrace by J .M. Coetzee. The introduction attempts to explain the psychological discourse surrounding reconciliation, especially Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and parallels that may exists. The main body presents detailed readings of the three works, with the focus being on the presentation of reconciliation in the works, and the role that the individual works could play in assisting the reader in coming to terms with his or her feelings of guilt.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Vir baie jare was apartheid die onderwerp van baie Suid Afrikaanse skrywers aangesien dit die mees problematiese element van Suid Afrikaanse samelewing was. Die einde van apartheid het egter nie die einde van alle probleme beteken nie. Een van die belangrike probleme is versoening. Hierdie tesis ondersoek die moontlikheid dat versoening die nuwe tema in Suid Afrikaanse letterkunde geword het en ofhierdie werke 'n bydrae kan lewer tot werklike versoening. Vir hierdie doel word drie werke behandel, naamlik Country of My Skull deur Antjie Krog, Smell of Apples deur Mark Behr en Disgrace deur J .M. Coetzee. Die inleiding poog om die sielkundige diskoers om versoening te verduidelik, veral rondom posttraumatiese stres, en die ooreenkomste wat mag voorkom. Die hoofdeel van die tesis bestaan uit 'n diepgaande bespreking van die drie werke, met die fokus op versoening in die werk, maar ook die rol wat die werke kan speel om die leser deur sy ofhaar skuld gevoelens te help.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/53228
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