Original Research

Reise in identiteit: aspekte van plek en hoort in verhale van Elsa Joubert en Riana Scheepers

S. Meyer
Literator | Vol 27, No 2 | a193 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v27i2.193 | © 2006 S. Meyer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 July 2006 | Published: 30 July 2006

About the author(s)

S. Meyer, Vakgroep: Afrikaans, Fakulteit Opvoedingswetenskappe, Potchefstroomkampus, Noordwes-Universiteit, South Africa

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Travels in identity: aspects of place and belonging in novels by Elsa Joubert and Riana Scheepers

An investigation into the experience of place and its changing nature in the story “Bloed” [Blood] (from Melk, [Milk] 1980) by Joubert and some stories from Scheepers’ collection Die ding in die vuur [The thing in the fire] (1990) serves to establish the role of the experience of place with regard to the development of identity in these stories. In “Bloed” [Blood] the dynamic way in which the experience of place influences identity is clear: on a single day trip the main character’s experience of alienation in Africa is transformed into an identification with Africa; a process that is directly related to the radically changing experience of place in the story. All the core markers of identity construction – gender, class, race and sexuality – are involved in this process of re-orientation; and the simultaneous, intertextual appropriation and subversion of a classic Western poem occur in the portrayal of the powerful adaptive reaction in terms of the experience of place and identity within the post-colonial situation. Scheepers’ stories: “Tweede kind” [Second child], “Drie sinvolle gesprekke” [Three meaningful conversations] and “Dom koei” [Daft cow] represent phases in the changing experience of identity that correlate with the journey of identity in “Bloed” [Blood], but the identity changes more subtly and gradually – intratextually played out over three stories – as well as less completely. The changing nature of the experience of place, as portrayed by means of the topographic structure of the stories and the effect of the filter-focalisation, again supports the process of a change in perspective on, and identification with Africa.


Construction Of Identity; Experience Of Place; Elsa Joubert; Postcolonial Adaptation; Riana Scheepers


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