Original Research

Die politiek van die mens-hondverhouding in Op ’n dag, ’n hond van John Miles

Adéle Nel
Literator | Vol 39, No 1 | a1427 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v39i1.1427 | © 2018 Adéle Nel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 June 2017 | Published: 25 April 2018

About the author(s)

Adéle Nel, School of Languages, Faculty of Humanities, North-West University, Vaal Campus, South Africa


The politics of the human-dog relationship in Op ’n dag, ’n hond by John Miles. This article investigates the way in which the human-dog relationship is presented in the novel Op ’n dag, ’n hond by John Miles. The premise of this article is that the novel can be read within the theoretical framework of Posthumanism, in which the embodied communalities of humans and animals (dogs) are emphasised. Despite the differences between the human and nonhuman animal, it is possible to constitute relationality, based on their shared physical mortality. The investigation will focus on the visual paradigm of the novel: the reciprocal view between dog and human, human and dog, which contradicts anthropocentricism and establishes an intersubjective relationship. The dog as guide embodies a moral agent that causes the teacher to look downward, into the underworld, as well as backward to the past. This, in turn, foregrounds the issues of loyalty and betrayal, and the balance between good and evil in a human life.


John Miles; human-dog relationship; posthumanism; visual paradigm


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