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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Movement, memory, transformation and transition in the city: literary representations of Johannesburg in post-apartheid South African texts
Author:Putter, Anne
Periodical:The English Academy Review (ISSN 1753-5360)
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:urban society
social change
Abstract:'Writing the city', particularly writing the city of Johannesburg, in postapartheid 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. Texts written on Johannesburg such as Kgebetli Moele's 'Room 207' (2006) and Ivan Vladislavic's 'The Restless Supermarket' (2001) are utilizing the subject matter and everyday life of the city as an 'idea': a means of expressing societal concerns and other important changes taking place in the country as a whole. This article identifies and considers how depictions of the city of Johannesburg are being altered and modified in contemporary South African literature, and shows the ways in which the narratives reveal how transformation is narrated and how this changes in posttransitional South African fiction. Topics such as the depiction of Johannesburg as a palimpsest, as a conflation of historical moments - past, present and future - are explored. Reasons as to why this change is taking place, and why this reinvention of the city of Johannesburg in fictional works is essential, is also discussed. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]