South African Literature Beyond The Cold War

Hardcover | April 15, 2010

byMonica Popescu

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Contemporary South African literature reflects a fascination with Russian and Eastern European stories of revolution and transformation as well as resistance to state oppression. In this groundbreaking book, Monica Popescu studies the formative role played by an imaginary and real Eastern Europe in literature written during and after apartheid. Reading the end of apartheid against the fall of the communist regimes in Eastern Europe, she rethinks the genealogy and aims of postcolonial studies in the context both of the Cold War and of the various forms of colonial domination and resistance in South Africa.

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Contemporary South African literature reflects a fascination with Russian and Eastern European stories of revolution and transformation as well as resistance to state oppression. In this groundbreaking book, Monica Popescu studies the formative role played by an imaginary and real Eastern Europe in literature written during and after a...

Monica Popescu is Assistant Professor of English at McGill University. She is the author of The Politics of Violence in Post-communist Films. Her articles on postapartheid literature, cultural translation, nationalism, and the Cold War in Southern Africa have appeared in Studies in the Novel, The Yale Journal of Criticism, Current Wri...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 8.48 × 5.78 × 0.78 inPublished:April 15, 2010Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230617395

ISBN - 13:9780230617391

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Eastern Europe in the South African Cultural Imaginary * Revolution and Transformation: Alex La Guma’s Models of Decolonization * Interregnum and Narrative Confusion: Zoë Wicomb and the South African Historiography of the Early 1990s * Transition Intertexts: J. M. Coetzee and the Nineteenth-Century Russian Writers * Cultures in Translation: Ivan Vladislavic and the Itinerant Imagery of the 1990s Fiction *  Nadine Gordimer and the End of Apartheid in a Global Perspective * Conclusion

Editorial Reviews

Winner of the 2012 Gustave O. Arlt Award in the Humanities!"In this enlightening study Popescu shows how enduring and productive the role of Eastern Europe has been in the South African imagination. With a deft hand, she reveals a sphere of influence too often masked by the preoccupation, critical writing, with the interplay of colony and metropole . . . By insisting on reading the end of apartheid against the end of the Soviet regime, Popescu offers a highly suggestive account of the manner in which post Cold War shifts have affected literature and theory alike in the postcolony. At once original and provocative, this work is an important addition to South African scholarship." - Jean Comaroff, University of Chicago "This book is a significant and exciting intervention in postcolonial studies. Revealing for the first time the numerous invocations of Russia and Eastern Europe in the South African literary and cultural imaginary, it further undoes the overdrawn vertical axis between metropole and colony which has so dominated postcolonial thinking . . . and examines the relationship between postcolonialism and postcommunism in ways that immensely enrich and complicate our current thinking." - Sarah Nuttall, Professor of Literary and Cultural Studies, Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research "The book offers an enriching variation on a standard comparative model, Africa, and the West. Instead, South African literature is granted the challenge of an Eastern European perspective. This is an important contribution to the field of postcolonial studies." - Professor Michael Chapman, University of KwaZulu-Natal and author of Southern African Literatures "South African literary studies in the twenty-first century is taking a transnational turn, and Popescu's work is at the vanguard of that movement . . . In Popescu's hands, this comparative approach yields powerful insights into South Africa's cultural imaginary." - Shane Graham, author of South African Literature after the Truth Commission