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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Postcolonial problematics: a South African case study
Author:Chapman, MichaelISNI
Periodical:Research in African Literatures (ISSN 0034-5210)
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:literary criticism
About person:John Michael Coetzee (1940-)ISNI
External link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/research_in_african_literatures/v042/42.4.chapman.pdf
Abstract:The paper argues that earlier literary designations - in this case, 'South African literature' - have begun to be subsumed under a generalized category, postcolonial literature, transnational literature, or literary studies. It is a category that has been given definitional purpose in North Atlantic literary and cultural institutions and is in danger of settling into orthodoxy: an orthodoxy that is somewhat removed from the palpability of human experience in any particular postcolony. An example is to be found in the treatment by influential postcolonial critics of Nobel laureate J.M. Coetzee, whose concern with the ache of history is made subservient to the intricate abstractions of continental philosophy. If the 'post-'paradigm wishes to retain purchase in contemporary times, it needs to establish a greater congruence than is current between a language of generality and its object of study, that is, the literary work. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]