Literary non-fiction and the unstable fault line of the imaginative and the reportorial : Antjie Krog’s, Country of my skull, Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela’s, A human being died that night and Sindiwe Magona’s, Mother to mother

Fransman, Jolene (2012-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis explores the representation of personal narrative and nationhood within the genre of literary non-fiction written around the theme of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The texts to be examined are Antjie Krog‟s, Country of My Skull, Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela‟s A Human Being Died That Night and Sindiwe Magona‟s Mother to Mother. The texts by Krog and Gobodo-Madikizela tell the story of apartheid‟s legacy from two different viewpoints. Their texts are filled with spatial patches of personal narrative which emphasize the impact apartheid had on two different South African cultures, thereby linking the personal to the national by exploring a subjective truth in their narratives. Both these authors were involved with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in a professional capacity and through their respective ideologies the psyche of the apartheid perpetrator is examined, interrogated and analysed. Within the genre of literary non-fiction these two writers grapple with capturing the real, the objective, but simultaneously insist on doing so from a subjective vantage point. Sindiwe Magona‟s, Mother to Mother also centres on the theme of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and on the psyche of the perpetrator. This time, however, the perpetrator‟s psyche is explored through the lens of a narrator-mother in an address to the victim‟s mother. The most significant difference between this text and the other two is that the Magona text provides a fictional account of the TRC case in question. The ethical implications of a literary text with documentary subject matter, of a text that explores the intersections between fiction and non-fiction, surfaces again, and to a larger extent than in the other two texts, thereby further unsettling the line between the reportorial and the imaginative.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis ondersoek die verteenwoordiging van persoonlike vertelling en nasieskap in die genre van die literêre nie-fiksie wat geskryf is om die tema van die Waarheids-en Versoeningskommissie (WVK). Die tekste wat ondersoek word is Antjie Krog se Country of My Skull, Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela se A Human Being Died That Night en Sindiwe Magona se Mother to Mother. Die tekste van Krog en Gobodo-Madikizela vertel die storie van apartheid-nalatenskap uit twee verskillende standpunte. Hul tekste bestaan uit gereelde ruimtelike kolle van persoonlike verhaal wat die impak van apartheid op twee verskillende kulture van die land beklemtoon om sodoende die persoonlike aan die nasionale te koppel en „n subjektiewe waarheid van hul narratiewe na vore te bring. Albei hierdie skrywers was in 'n professionele hoedanigheid betrokke by die WVK en deur hulle onderskeie ideologieë word die psige van die apartheid oortreder ondersoek, ondervra en ontleed. Dit is binne literêre nie-fiksie waar hierdie twee skrywers swoeg om die werklike en objektiewe ten toon te stel terwyl hulle dit terseldertyd vanuit „n subjektiewe oogpunt wil benader. Sindiwe Magona se Mother to Mother draai ook om die tema van die Waarheids-en Versoeningskommissie en die psige van die oortreder. Hierdie keer, egter, is die oortreder-psige ondersoek deur die lens van 'n verteller-ma in 'n toespraak aan die slagoffer se ma. Die belangrikste verskil tussen hierdie teks en die ander twee is dat die Magona teks 'n fiktiewe vertelling bied van die WVK saak betrokke in hierdie geval. Die etiese implikasies van 'n literêre teks met 'n dokumentêre onderwerp kom weer na vore en tot 'n groter mate as die ander twee tekste, en daardeur word die fyn lyn van die literêre genres met 'n dokumentêre onderwerp omver gegooi.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/71882
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