“Like a White Man”

Lucy Valerie Graham

in State of Peril

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199796373
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933327 | DOI:
“Like a White Man”

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This chapter considers three “black peril” novels with a focus on the difference between a novel written by a white woman, Francis Bancroft, and novels written by two white men, George Webb Hardy and George Heaton Nicholls. It considers the relationship between “black peril” rhetoric, the making of the South African Union (1910) and anxieties about black readerships and black political voice in early twentieth century South African literature. Examining Bancroft’s Of Like Passions (1907), Webb Hardy’s The Black Peril (1912) and Heaton Nicholls’s Bayete! (1923), it is argued that these classic and foundational literary texts are concerned with the politics of authorship and literary authority as well as political voice and exclusions of citizenship. The contests over political voice and textual authority staged by these writers have a bearing on later black authors who parody and restage “black peril” typecasts.

Keywords: rhetoric; readership; voice; politics; anxiety

Chapter.  12432 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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