Translating Transition: The Politics of Nostalgia and Provincialization in Antjie Krog's A Change of Tongue and Begging to Be Black

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Samenvatting

Abstract – This paper explores the historical dimensions of Antjie Krog’s prose texts written in the 2000s and engaging with the process of post-apartheid transformation against the background of travelling in space and time, from early colonial periods to post-apartheid present, between different African countries and
places in Europe. Weaving an intricate network of memories, these texts focus on the challenges of imagining new ways of being that require de- and reconstructing colonial genealogies. Krog’s work with personal and collective archives involves consistent production of nostalgic representations. I am approaching these representations as being different from what has often been discussed in terms of melancholia (in relation to white South Africans’ and particularly Afrikaners’ grappling with the issues of collective identity and responsibility) or colonial nostalgia.
The distinctiveness of nostalgia in Krog’s writing, I propose, is based on the texts’ translation of varied temporalities – a process which not only displaces the narratives of transition but also facilitates deconstruction of cultural differences. This reading inquires particularly into the link between this variety of nostalgia and the motifs of provincialising the idea of Europe as a repository of originality which has been haunting South Africa’s literature and culture.
Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)323-338
Aantal pagina's16
TijdschriftTijdschrift voor Nederlandse Taal- en Letterkunde
Volume131
Nummer van het tijdschrift4
StatusPublished - 2015
Extern gepubliceerdJa

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