Original Research

Keeping it in the family: incest, repression and the fear of the hybrid in Reza de Wet’s English plays

A. Krueger
Literator | Vol 31, No 2 | a46 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v31i2.46 | © 2010 A. Krueger | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 July 2010 | Published: 13 July 2010

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Abstract

Reza de Wet has more than once referred in interviews to the syncretic relationship she sees as existing in the “long history” between Afrikaner and black cultures. Due to its close association with black African cultures, she claims that Afrikaner culture has fused a belief in mythologies and “magical thinking” with a “European consciousness” (Solberg, 2003:180). This article investigates ways in which some of De Wet’s English translations – as well as her play “Concealment” (De Wet, 2004) – demonstrate the consequences of a fear of this amalgamation; a dread of hybridity. Concurrent with this anxiety is the danger inherent in a repression of desire. In a number of De Wet’s plays it seems that what is cloistered and protected within the purity of family (possibly a metaphor for the Afrikaner people) conceals an incestuous perversion.

Keywords

Afrikaner; Concealment; Play; Reza De Wet; Hybridity; Incest; Jung; Shadow; Postapartheid Literature; Repression; South African Theatre; Drama

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