Tydskrif vir Letterkunde
On-line version ISSN 2309-9070
Print version ISSN 0041-476X
WILLEMSE, Hein. Autobiography and memory as resistance in Adam Small's The Orange Earth. Tydskr. letterkd. [online]. 2012, vol.49, n.1, pp.70-81. ISSN 2309-9070.
The Orange Earth is discussed here as a fictionalised autobiographical account in which the Afrikaans poet and playwright, Adam Small, reflects on the impact of apartheid, creating a counternarrative of a marginalised life during that political system. In the play, presented essentially as a play of ideas, the Coloured main character Johnny Adams, the fictionalised alter ego of the author, plants a bomb that kills a white child and much of the action involves his rationalization of his deed of terror. The play references the cultural and linguistic relationship between Coloured and white Afrikaans-speaking people, and the former's humiliation and exclusion under the apartheid policy. It is argued inter alia that Small's choice of English as a language of literary expression could be interpreted as part of a counterdiscourse on cultural disaffection and political disillusion just as his option of urban violence as a solution to apartheid, his "cry for citizenship", amounts to a desperate act rather than one of revolutionary violence. The article concludes with a discussion on the multiple meanings associated with the title that serves as a metaphor for the countermemory of Small's narrative
Keywords : Adam Small; Afrikaans culture; Afrikaans plays; antiapartheid literature; The Orange Earth; revolutionary violence.