“Not Shakespeare”: Acts of Quotation in Nadine Gordimer’s My Son’s Story

  • Peter Erickson


Quotations play an unusually prominent role in organizing and driving the narrative development in My Son’s Story.1 The question for this study is: What impact does the network of three key quotations—from Shakespeare’s play As You Like It, Rosa Luxemburg’s prison letter, and John Donne’s poem “The Good Morrow”—have on Shakespeare’s status in Nadine Gordimer’s novel? My method is to elucidate patterns of cumulative meaning in the quotational sequence by tracing how individual quotations, in their order of appearance, modify and build on one another.


Stone Wall Individual Quotation Extramarital Relationship African Writer Political Exile 
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  1. 1.
    Nadine Gordimer, My Son’sStory (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1990).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Michael Neill, “Post-Colonial Shakespeare?: Writing away from the Centre,” in Post-Colonial Shakespeares, ed. Ania Loomba and Martin Orkin (London: Routledge, 1998), 164–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Homi K. Bhabha, The Location of Culture (London: Routledge, 1994), 9–18Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    “The Essential Gesture” (1984), in Nadine Gordimer, The Essential Gesture: Writing, Politics and Places, ed. Stephen Clingman (New York: Knopf, 1988), 285–300Google Scholar
  5. 9.
    In Stephen Eric Bronner’s Rosa Luxemburg: A Revolutionary for Our Times (London: Pluto, 1981)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Peter Erickson 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Erickson

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