Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Tydskrif vir Letterkunde]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=0041-476X20220001&lang=en vol. 59 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Transnational unlaagering </b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2022000100001&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en <![CDATA[<b>In-between spaces in Klara du Plessis's <i>Ekke: </i>Identity, language and art</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2022000100002&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In this review article, we focus on the depiction of the transnational and translingual as a state of being in-between in Klara du Plessis's debut poetry collection, Ekke (2018). This in-between state has implications for how identity, place and visual art feature in the collection. Ekke contains fragments of German and French, but consists mainly of English interspersed with Afrikaans. The creation of meaning through this linguistic slippage reflects the idea of identity as always in-process that comes to the fore throughout the collection. Ekke also represents an intervention in South African urban literature, as Bloemfontein, a city not much featured in literature, is represented in several poems. In these poems, the poet-speaker struggles to situate Bloemfontein and its surrounding areas' histories and symbolism in the transnational networks that she is a part of. The conception of identity and language being constantly in-progress is also conveyed in the collection's poems about visual art. In these poems, meaning is created through the interaction of language with visual art, a process the poet calls 'intervisuality'. <![CDATA[<b>Plaasfeminism in Ronelda S. Kamfer's <i>Kompoun </i>(2021)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2022000100003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This review article explores how Ronelda S. Kamfer's novel Kompoun (2021) deconstructs and diversifies the white patriarchal space of the plaas (farm) by reinscribing it with a highly situated 'plaasfeminism' emerging from the female characters in the novel. This critical reinscription through the lives of the McKinney women from the Overberg is necessary, but certainly not triumphant. For Nadia, the protagonist, the idyll of the plaas consists of her admiration of and longing for her maternal forebears and thus provides a source of strength and personhood, but the plaas is also quite literally the scene of a crime from which her family fails to protect her. Kompoun complicates mainstream notions of feminist resistance by charting the internal contradictions of female subjectivity and highlighting the vulnerable position of the McKinney children, who grow up in a community where both adult men and women pose a threat of emotional and physical abandonment and abuse. Yet, in times of need, Nadia manages to mobilise her personal image of the plaas's beauty as motherly and the women who live there as tough as coping strategies that suspend her imprisonment in the harmful dynamics around her. <![CDATA[<b>Die soeke na 'n onbegrensdheid van verbeelding: 'n Onderhoud met Alfred Schaffer</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2022000100004&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This review article explores how Ronelda S. Kamfer's novel Kompoun (2021) deconstructs and diversifies the white patriarchal space of the plaas (farm) by reinscribing it with a highly situated 'plaasfeminism' emerging from the female characters in the novel. This critical reinscription through the lives of the McKinney women from the Overberg is necessary, but certainly not triumphant. For Nadia, the protagonist, the idyll of the plaas consists of her admiration of and longing for her maternal forebears and thus provides a source of strength and personhood, but the plaas is also quite literally the scene of a crime from which her family fails to protect her. Kompoun complicates mainstream notions of feminist resistance by charting the internal contradictions of female subjectivity and highlighting the vulnerable position of the McKinney children, who grow up in a community where both adult men and women pose a threat of emotional and physical abandonment and abuse. Yet, in times of need, Nadia manages to mobilise her personal image of the plaas's beauty as motherly and the women who live there as tough as coping strategies that suspend her imprisonment in the harmful dynamics around her. <![CDATA[<b>Alfred Schaffer, Shaka en die transnasionalisme</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2022000100005&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In this article, I read the Dutch poet Alfred Schaffer's volume of poetry Mens dier ding (Man animal thing) against the background of transnationalism. I employ transnationalism as critical or hermeneutic perspective and focus on the identity of the author, the themes worked out in the volume and the use of anachronism and metapoetical references as literary strategies in support of the transnational nature of the text. Reference is made to the way in which Schaffer's biography (his Dutch-Aruban descent, his movement between the Netherlands and South Africa, his views on poetry) facilitates a transnational reading of his volume Mens dier ding based on the history of the Zulu king Shaka as depicted in Thomas Mofolo's novel Chaka (published in 1925). The article also reads Mens dier ding against the background of the idea that transnational literature is a particular kind of literature that emerges at a specific point in history and deals with issues and themes associated with imperialism, colonisation, decolonisation and globalisation such as migration, displacement, cultural hybridity, identity, citizenship and the status of refugees. This reading is prompted by the fact that Schaffer displaces the historical Shaka to the present and eventually also represents him as an asylum seeker in an unnamed country. I discuss the volume's formal features, the transnational conversation with Mofolo's novel, the use of anachronism and the insertion of metapoetical elements in the text as literary strategies to deal with transnational issues such as migration, displacement, racial hierarchies, inequality and refugee experience. <![CDATA[<b>The Alps, <i>anime </i>and Afrikaans: "Heidi" as transnational text and culture product</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2022000100006&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The name "Heidi" is known and loved all over the world, due to Swiss author, Johanna Spyri's works, Heidis Lehr- und Wanderjahre (1880) and Heidi kann brauchen, was es gelernt hat (1881), which form part of the classic international children's literature canon. These stories have since crossed national boarders, by manifesting transnationally in several culture products. The focus of this article lies on the transnational traffic between the original Heidi (1881) and its adaptations. Because "Heidi" as a cultural phenomenon contains universal themes, the product was able to spread globally. This journey stretches from the Swiss Alps, to Japan and finally finds a home in South Africa and Afrikaans. Included in the article is an overview of how the Heidi text manifested in several cultures and its transnational movement, spanning time and place. The popularity of the animation series in South Africa among Afrikaans speaking people is analysed, along with suggestions for possible reasons for this big following and prevalence . The central argument of the article is that "Heidi" as cultural product has had a transnational journey from the Alps, to anime and Afrikaans. <![CDATA[<b>The construction of split whiteness in the queer films <i>Kanarie </i>(2018) and <i>Moffie </i>(2019)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2022000100007&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en After the end of formal apartheid, a number of South African feature films have explored queer white men in conservative social settings, with a particular focus on Afrikaans-speaking gay men. These films have reflected strict heteropatriarchal values within white Afrikaner culture where homosexuality is still often seen as a taboo topic. In this article I discuss two feature films with gay white male protagonists, Kanarie (2018) by Christiaan Olwagen and Moffie (2019) by Oliver Hermanus. These films both feature young men conscripted to fight in the South African Border War in the 1980s, but differ greatly in terms of genre, plot, and style. I argue that, while many scholars discuss whiteness as a general construct that affords privilege, the films demonstrate a split whiteness that is effected through the composition of particular shots and scenes as well as through the films' processes of production and reception. Whiteness is split into an invisibilised, assumedly critical perspective on the one hand, with transnational links to the Global North, and a hypervisibilised, reified, and criticised racial identity on the other hand, located specifically in the heteropatriarchal Afrikaner male. Queer characters in both films are able to split their identities and dissociate from uncomfortable parts of their whiteness, taking on an assumed criticality that highlights their own oppression and exclusion. The films thus dismiss the protagonists' complicity in white supremacy, and allow audiences to dissociate from their own complicity in anti-black violence and oppression. <![CDATA[<i><b>grond/Santekraam </b></i><b>and <i>bientang: </i>Situated in global black oceanic routes</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2022000100008&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The Afrikaans poetry collections grond/Santekraam (2011) by Ronelda S. Kamfer and bientang (2020) by Jolyn Phillips both centralise the ocean and both deal with attempts at recovering repressed black histories. Apart from figuring as a source of spiritual fulfilment and connected to figures in the collection's livelihoods, the ocean is represented in these collections as the bringer of European colonisers and of slaves to South Africa. In this article I contend that references to slavery and colonialism and the use of words in languages brought to South Africa through slave networks position these collections as products of the transnational Black Atlantic tradition, as theorised by Paul Gilroy. The fact that the narratives of both collections take place in the Overstrand region, near the meeting place of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, gives an indication of how Gilroy's theory needs to be adapted to be applicable to Afrikaans literature: as many English-language South African theorists have argued, oceanic literary studies in South Africa should pay as much attention to routes in the Indian Ocean as to Atlantic routes. The emphasis in both collections on not only a history of slavery, but also one of the displacement of and violence against the people already inhabiting the area when colonisers alighted, further serves to indicate what an Afrikaans black aquatic literature looks like. When taking into account these differences between Afrikaans and other versions of black aquatic art, reading grond/Santekraam and bientang as part of a global black aesthetics allows the researcher to identify the ways in which these collections are characterised by a hermeneutics of suspicion (an interpretation of contemporary life that recognises the ways in which it is structured and functions in anti-black ways) and a hermeneutics of memory (an interpretation of this anti-black contemporary as a continuation of the history of the dehumanisation of black people). <![CDATA[<b>The Garment Workers' Union <i>Pageant of Unity </i>(1940) as manifestation of transnational working-class culture</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-476X2022000100009&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In this article, I examine the Garment Workers' Union's theatre as a manifestation of transnational working-class culture in the 1940s. Analysing Pageant of Unity (1940), a play in which Afrikaans and English alternate to express the equality of Afrikaans- and English-speaking workers in the face of exploitation, I offer an attempt to escape the confines of a national literature as linked to a single language. I demonstrate how the political pageant-a genre typical of socialist propaganda and international trade unionism-was adapted to a South African context. This drama is, therefore, viewed as a product of cultural mobility between Europe, the United States, and South Africa. Assuming the 'follow the actor' approach of Bruno Latour's Actor-Network Theory, I identify a network of interconnections between the nodes formed by human (drama practitioners and theoreticians, socialist organisers) and nonhuman actors (texts representing socialist drama conventions, in particular agitprop techniques). Tracing the inspirations and adaptations of conventions, I argue that Pageant of Unity most evidently realises the prescriptions outlined by the Russian drama theoretician Vsevolod Meyerhold whose approach influenced Guy Routh, one of the pageant's creators. Thus, I focus on how this propaganda production utilises certain features of the Soviet avant-garde theatre, which testifies to the transnational character of South African working-class culture.