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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Johannesburg during the transition in Ivan Vladislavic's 'The whites only bench' and 'The restless supermarket'
Author:Manase, IrikidzayiISNI
Periodical:The English Academy Review (ISSN 1753-5360)
Geographic term:South Africa
urban environment
political change
About person:Ivan Vladislavic (1957-)ISNI
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/10131750902768416
Abstract:This article analyses two literary representations of Johannesburg (South Africa) in the early 1990s, Ivan Vladislavic's story 'The whites only bench' (1996) and his novel, 'The restless supermarket' (2001). These works describe the city in a period of transition from apartheid to a democratic and postapartheid era. The article draws on critical ideas about the city, postulated by R. Williams, B. Pike, H. Lefebvre and others, to argue that Vladislavic's works show Johannesburg's inhabitants encountering moments of tension, violence and anticipation during the city's transformation. Vladislavic explores his characters' responses to the unfolding social and political transformation. The article also considers the use of the trope of chaos and disorder in these works, and the subsequent apocalyptic perceptions of some of Vladislavic's urban dwellers in describing some of the city's residential, commercial and public spaces. This is contrasted with alternative perceptions by some characters, who hope for a new prosperous and opened-up city, where new multiracial and meaningful relationships are possible. Bibliogr., note, sum. [Journal abstract]