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Title: The profits of the past : nostalgic white writing of post-apartheid South Africa
Author: Lombard, Erica
ISNI:       0000 0004 5359 1895
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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Drawing on relevant theory from memory studies, literary criticism, sociology, reception studies and book history, this thesis examines the prevalence of nostalgia in white South African writing of the post-apartheid period. It identifies the numerous and remarkably conventional texts by white authors that proliferated in this time which might be described as nostalgic, arguing that these constitute a key genre of post-apartheid South African literature. In seeking to offer an explanation for why these nostalgic forms predominated in this period, this study takes into consideration the full "communications circuit" of a book i.e. the life-cycle of a book from production to consumption. Consequently, it employs an interdisciplinary framework to examine nostalgic literature from the perspectives of both the producers and consumers of texts. It is argued, ultimately, that post-apartheid nostalgic writing was particularly involved in the protection of certain formulations and structures of whiteness at individual, collective and institutional levels. The argument unfolds in three phases, each of which explores the value of nostalgia and nostalgic white writing in a different but related sphere: namely, literature, memory, and the market. The first phase of the argument provides a literary critical reading of the generic hallmarks of these novels, considering a range of representative texts, including works by Mark Behr, André Brink, Justin Cartwright, J. M. Coetzee, Lisa Fugard, Christopher Hope, Jo-Anne Richards, and Rachel Zadok. The second examines the allure of nostalgia and nostalgic books for the writers and readers of this literature, drawing on sociological studies of post-apartheid white South African identity and reader-response theory to analyse a selection of online and print reviews by readers. In the third phase, the thesis utilises a book historical approach to investigate the influence of various literary markets and the publishing industry, both local and global, in shaping the nostalgia trend.
Supervisor: Boehmer, Elleke Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: English Language and Literature ; South African literature (English)--20th century--History and criticism ; South African literature (English)--21st century--History and criticism ; South African literature (English)--White authors--History and criticism ; Nostalgia--South Africa ; Nostalgia--Literature ; Post-apartheid era--South Africa