States of emergency and the apartheid legal order in South African fiction
Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 46, (5), . (doi:10.1080/17449855.2010.517054).
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This essay considers how narratives of emergency in apartheid South Africa are figured in Richard Rive's Emergency (1964) and Emergency Continued (1990). Beginning with a discussion of the role of emergency legislation in apartheid South Africa, the essay proceeds to consider how the rhetoric and force of the apartheid legal order is both foregrounded and contested in Rive's fiction. The essay considers in particular the ways in which Rive's fiction explores the constraints placed on writing during a state of emergency, and the limitations of protest writing as a literary paradigm. It concludes with a brief discussion of Zoë Wicomb's David's Story (2001), and asks how literary narratives can guard against the continuation of state violence in the context of the new South Africa.
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