Postcolonial departures

Hano Pipic
2013 unpublished
This thesis is a comparative reading of selected contemporary fictions from Australia and South Africa. By drawing on postcolonial theory and trauma theory, this thesis argues that specific genres are transformed in distinctive ways in these two settler literatures to address the continuing presence of the colonial past. It focuses in particular on three genres: the Bildungsroman, the historical novel, and the pastoral to consider how these have been reproduced, adapted and transformed in these
more » ... literatures in the recent past. This thesis argues that these transformations testify to the ways that recent Australian and South African literary imaginaries respond to the legacies of traumatic histories of colonization and dispossession. In both Australia and South Africa processes of reconciliation and social justice in recent decades have produced intense debates about history, fiction and the ways these disciplines can generate new ways of understanding the traumatic legacies of settler colonialism. By focusing on a selection of close and comparative readings, this thesis identifies a series of common tropes, techniques and preoccupations that draw together these two literatures which are so often read apart in terms of distinctive national histories. The first chapter, "Representation of Trauma in Two Selected Bildungsromane", investigates how the genre of the Bildungsroman is rehabilitated and how its traditional boundaries are transgressed to explore the psychic landscapes of childhood trauma. Gail Jones' Sorry (2008) and Rachel Zadok's Gem Squash Tokoloshe (2005) are examined as case studies to suggest their departures from European traditions to include the legacies of colonisation. These challenge the traditional passage from adolescence to maturity in the Bildungroman, resulting in narratives where this journey remains incomplete. In the second chapter of the thesis, "Postcolonial Pastoral", an analysis of how the pastoral engages in distinctively postcolonial forms suggests the flexibility and mutabili [...]
doi:10.25365/thesis.27214 fatcat:jbp5vviicjah3ckoorhfn4i7ui