Original Research

Die reisverslag van ’n post-kolonialistiese reisiger: Die reise van Isobelle deur Elsa Joubert

H. P. van Coller
Literator | Vol 19, No 3 | a557 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v19i3.557 | © 1998 H. P. van Coller | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 April 1998 | Published: 30 April 1998

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H. P. van Coller, Departement Afrikaans & Nederlands, Universiteit van die Vrystaat, Bloemfontein, South Africa

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The travelogue of a post-colonial traveller: The travels of Isobelle by Elsa Joubert
Die reise van Isobelle (The travels of Isobelle) written by Elsa Joubert is regarded as one of her best novels. In many respects this novel can be considered as an overview of an extensive and impressive oeuvre. This article attempts to indicate that this novel not only relates to the important tradition of travel writing in Afrikaans literature, but also comments on this tradition from a feminist and postcolonial perspective. In a certain sense this novel can also be read as a continuance (or rewriting) of Joubert's own travel journals that have still been embedded in a colonial consciousness. Once again a symbiotic relationship exists between the above-mentioned novel and several of Elsa Joubert's other travel journals. In this article the intertextual ties with Water en woestyn and Die verste reis are explored in particular. The premise of this hypothesis is that the characteristic aspect of travel literature is the unseverable tie between centrifugal and centripetal forces. To a great extent the structure of this extensive work, with its extraordinarily solid motif structure, already determines this.


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