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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Of fire and rejuvenation: in search of the 'post' in 'post-apartheid'
Author:Maithufi, Sopelekae
Periodical:International Journal of African Renaissance Studies (ISSN 1753-7274)
Geographic term:South Africa
About person:Mongane Wally Serote (1944-)ISNI
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/18186874.2015.1050225
Abstract:In the novels 'Scatter the ashes and go' (2002) and Rumours (2013), Mongane Wally Serote depicts post-apartheid through a leitmotif central to which the soldier of the African National Congress military wing, 'Umkhonto We Sizwe', is ostensibly caught in an interrupted odyssey. In 'Scatter the ashes and go', this soldier has returned from exile in various Southern African countries to a South Africa that is on the threshold of the post-apartheid era. By contrast, in 'Rumours', the soldier, having arrived from exile in 1990, then goes away to Mali in search of a solution for his post-traumatic stress disorder. The article imputes these disruptions on to the failure to 'properly' mourn the victims of apartheid's extra-judicial killing squads, and goes on to note that, as a result of Serote's attention to the subsequent angst, post-apartheid appears as a continuum of trauma. The discussion then proceeds to posit that the resolutions to these diversions are hinted at in these novels' elaborate motifs of fire, and proposes that the depictions of this pattern recall how Batswana suture the spiritual, psychological and social fractures consequent upon death - especially the death that occurs unnaturally, and upon the breadwinner's return home from a long absence. The bulk of the exploration pays attention to the nuances of this symbol of fire, recognising it as an integral component of a social rite populated by a dynamic interplay between poetry and music. Bibliogr., note, sum. [Journal abstract]