Original Research

‘Dít wat ons mense maak’: Posthumanisme en affek in In ’n land sonder voëls (Harry Kalmer)

Adéle Nel
Literator | Vol 44, No 1 | a1946 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v44i1.1946 | © 2023 Adéle Nel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 July 2022 | Published: 06 February 2023

About the author(s)

Adéle Nel, Languages and Literature in the SA Context, Faculty of Humanities, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


‘That which makes us human’: posthumanism and affect in In ‘n land sonder voëls (Harry Kalmer). This article is an investigation into the way in which the theoretical frameworks of posthumanism and affect theory manifest in In ‘n land sonder voëls (Harry Kalmer) with an emphasis on the relationship between the two theoretical thought patterns. The point of departure is the question that emerges in the story: What is it that typifies our humanity in the light of mortality and loss? Aspects that emerge from this are onomastics, the placement of a human being as person-in-the-world, the inexorable exploration of the body, and unavoidable loss and trauma. The connection between the past and words or stories is prominent, and is found as a leitmotif, throughout the novel.

Contribution: This article contributes to research on posthumanism and affect and the relationship between the two theoretical thought patterns by exploring the application in Harry Kalmer’s novel In a country without birds. It demonstrates how mortality and loss manifest in the novel and constitute humanity. The article further posits a view on human nature concerning onomastics, the body in/and space, memory and the connection between the past and words or stories.


n ’n land sonder voëls (In a country without birds); Harry Kalmer; posthumanism; affect; humanity; onomastics; space; body; mortality; loss; memory


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