The Novel in the 1970s
André Brink and J. M. Coetzee both wrote quest novels in the 1970s that focused on the historic problem of Afrikaner identity.1 Both wrote in the English language, thus automatically subscribing to the rules and conventions of the inscription of perception that affect the other writers in this study — though, of course, additional dimensions may be present. In each case the temporal setting is the early Cape, that geographic area created by the perceptions of whites, and in both books the fundamental test of identity is located in the relationship between white and one or other version of the ‘coloured’. Thus the definition of the ‘other’, through white eyes, is ambivalent and unclear from the outset.
KeywordsEurope Cobalt Amid Smoke Sonal
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- 1.André Brink, An Instant in the Wind (London: W. H. Allen, 1976 and London: Flamingo/Fontana, 1983 — all page references are to the Flamingo edition) andGoogle Scholar
- J. M. Coetzee, Dusklands (Johannesburg: Ravan Press, 1974 and Harmondsworth, Middx.: Penguin, 1983 — all page references are to the Penguin edition).Google Scholar
- 13.William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (etched about 1793).Google Scholar
- 20.André Brink, The Wall of the Plague (London: W. H. Allen, 1985).Google Scholar