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Reinventing and reimagining Johannesburg in three post-apartheid South African texts

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dc.contributor.advisor Frenkel, Ronit, Dr. en_US
dc.contributor.author Putter, Anne
dc.date.accessioned 2012-11-07T14:48:21Z
dc.date.available 2012-11-07T14:48:21Z
dc.date.issued 2012-11-07
dc.date.submitted 2012-02
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/8143
dc.description M.A. en_US
dc.description.abstract 'Writing the city'‘, particularly writing the city of Johannesburg, in post-apartheid South African fiction can be considered as a new approach to interpreting South African culture; a new approach that takes into consideration and reflects the changes taking place in present-day South African society. By means of close textual analysis, this study examines the ways in which the city of Johannesburg is in the process of being re-imagined and reinvented in post-apartheid South African fiction and, therefore, in the post-apartheid memory. Particular attention is paid to narrative techniques utilised in the primary material as a means of not only re-writing the space of the city, but the space of South Africa as well. This is essential in order to reveal how transformation is narrated in post-apartheid, transitional texts and how this narration changes in post-transitional South African fiction. The chosen texts are read and interpreted as a type of cultural history or memory – as a means of constructing South African culture and history through textual production. In particular, this dissertation illustrates how texts written on Johannesburg, such as Phaswane Mpe‘s Welcome To Our Hillbrow (2001), Ivan Vladislavić‘s The Restless Supermarket (2001) and Kgebetli Moele‘s Room 207 (2006) are utilising the subject matter and every day life of the city as an 'idea‘; as a means of expressing societal concerns and other important changes taking place in the country as a whole. This study focuses on how each of the three chosen novels contributes to South African culture and history by narrating its transformative history. Topics such as the depiction of Johannesburg as a palimpsest and as a cultural archive of historical moments in present-day South Africa are explored. In this regard, themes and representations of movement, transition and transformation in the city of Johannesburg, as well as attempts to memorialise this space, are dealt with. In addition, the representation of a 'gendered‘ city as a means of narrating such transformation is also discussed. Here, reference is made to concerns such as the shifting position of men and women in the city, changing gender-related city consciousness, and altered gender discourse surrounding the city. This dissertation identifies and considers how depictions of the city of Johannesburg are being altered and modified in contemporary South African literature and contemplates the ways in which the narratives reveal how transformation is narrated via the Johannesburg landscape. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Johannesburg (South Africa) en_US
dc.subject Narration (Rhetoric) en_US
dc.subject Post-apartheid era en_US
dc.subject Johannesburg (South Africa) in literature
dc.title Reinventing and reimagining Johannesburg in three post-apartheid South African texts en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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