Original Research

Alan Paton’s unpublished fiction (1922- 1934): an initial appraisal

D. Levey
Literator | Vol 28, No 3 | a171 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v28i3.171 | © 2007 D. Levey | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 July 2007 | Published: 30 July 2007

About the author(s)

D. Levey, Department of English Studies, UNISA, Pretoria, South Africa

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This article considers selected issues in the early fiction of Alan Paton, which is in manuscript form: three novels or parts of novels namely, “Ship of Truth” (1922-1923), “Brother Death” (1930), “John Henry Dane” (1934b), the novel/novella “Secret for seven” (1934d), and the short stories “Little Barbee”, (1928?) and “Calvin Doone” (1930a). Attention is given to the first novel. A summary of the findings follows: even though Paton’s longer unpublished fiction is religiously earnest and at times rhetorically effective, it is simplistic and tends to perpetuate the white, English-speaking patriarchal hegemony of Natal, rather than offer any sustained critique of it. These works are set against the background of the Natal Midlands in the 1920s and 1930s. The shorter fiction is slightly different in nature.


Alan Paton; Identity; Manuscripts; Politics; Religion; South African Literature In English; Unpublished Fiction


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