Chapter

Danger and Desire

Lucy Valerie Graham

in State of Peril

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199796373
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933327 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199796373.003.0001
Danger and Desire

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Chapter One traces the relationship between imperial romance and narratives of sexual violence in South Africa’s contact zone during the colonial era. The chapter demonstrates they ways in which Olive Schreiner’s Trooper Peter Halket of Mashonaland subverts the discourse of imperial romance and more than a century of rape narratives set in South Africa. Schreiner’s novel counters the dominant mode of imperial romance even as it marks the beginning of a long tradition of South African women writing against miscegenation by damning “the white peril”. The chapter then considers the literature of the South African War and Rudyard Kipling’s “The Sahib’s War” and the scandal of non-European combatants in a “white war”. The chapter concludes by suggesting ways in which “black peril” began to function as a means of uniting the white races of South Africa against a common enemy.

Keywords: romance; Black; White; miscegenation; race

Chapter.  12840 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literature

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