Tydskrif vir Letterkunde
On-line version ISSN 2309-9070
Print version ISSN 0041-476X
ANKER, Johan. Magical realism and the religious in Praying Mantis. Tydskr. letterkd. [online]. 2008, vol.45, n.2, pp.5-19. ISSN 2309-9070.
This article explores the magical realist features in André P. Brink's novel Bidsprinkaan (the Afrikaans version of Praying Mantis) namely, the shaping of a hybrid and liminal world in the postcolonial context and the consequent effect on different religious perspectives of the Christian missionaries and the Khoi people. Kupido Kakkerlak is a representative of both these worlds. The hybrid position of a magical realist perspective containing both the magical and realist realms of religion and peoples' daily existence and the intertwining of myth and history are discussed while the author also focuses on the specific magical realist characteristics of the text. The implicit and explicit undermining of the Christian belief of the missionaries as one of many belief systems in the world of Kupido Kakkerlak and his people seems to be one of the possible interpretations of this text. The role of magical realism in questioning and undermining one of the master narratives of colonialisation, i.e. the development of Christianity in colonial territories, is shown.
Keywords : André Brink; hybridity; liminality; magical realism; postcolonialism; Praying Mantis.