Restaging Rape: Black Writing and Sexual Apartheid

Lucy Valerie Graham

in State of Peril

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199796373
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933327 | DOI:
Restaging Rape: Black Writing and Sexual Apartheid

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Chapter Four focuses on ways in which black writers in the apartheid years rescripted previously white-authored narratives about rape. Arthur Maimane’s Victims is pivotal here as he mimics and destabilises the idea that “natives have a rape-utation”. The chapter argues that the novel engages with the fear at the heart of classic “black peril” phenomena, the anxiety over white women’s bodies and particularly black authorship about white women’s bodies. The chapter then considers the way in which black authors, such as Lauretta Ngcobo and Farida Karodia, have rewritten “white peril” narratives, previously the domain of white women writers such as Schreiner, Bancroft and Millin. The chapter concludes with examination of intraracial rape in short stories of the late apartheid era, including Njabulo Ndebele’s Fools, Ngcina Mhlope’s “Nokulunga’s Wedding” and Baleka Kgositsile’s “In the Night”.

Keywords: rape; fear; authorship; subversion; Apartheid

Chapter.  15706 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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