Original Research

Memory, history and oblivion in Horrelpoot by Eben Venter

M. Postma, M.N. Slabbert
Literator | Vol 29, No 2 | a115 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v29i2.115 | © 2008 M. Postma, M.N. Slabbert | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 July 2008 | Published: 25 July 2008

About the author(s)

M. Postma, Department of Jurisprudence, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
M.N. Slabbert, Department of Jurisprudence, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa

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“Horrelpoot” by Eben Venter joins the ranks of other postapartheid Afrikaans literature that reflects different sides of memory, history and guilt. This article explores the different constructs of memory – laced with rich Jungian archetypal images – that are portrayed in “Horrelpoot”. Drawing on Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness”, “Horrelpoot” sketches the protagonist, Marlouw’s journey from the West (Australia) to the “dark” continent (Africa), and his ancestral farm, “Ouplaas” in South Africa. The article elaborates on Marlouw’s journey, which, at a deeper level, is nothing but a Jungian journey towards individuation, a journey into the deepest and archaic level of his own psyche. In the final instance, “Horrelpoot” reminds us that in a century of forgetting, memory persists, and that Marlouw’s journey could be a collective one which may guide white South Africans to face their own deep and dark past and the horror that lies at the bottom of their history.


Jungian Journey Towards Individuation; Memory After A Century Of Forgetting; Constructs Of Memory; Postapartheid Afrikaans Literature


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Crossref Citations

1. Re/membering the Future? Speculative Fiction by Eben Venter and Lauren Beukes
Ken Barris
Current Writing: Text and Reception in Southern Africa  vol: 29  issue: 2  first page: 131  year: 2017  
doi: 10.1080/1013929X.2017.1347428