Abstract

Offering a reading of Mongane Wally Serote’s Revelations (2010) alongside other recent novels by black South African writers, this essay answers calls for more careful analyses of the roles that race plays within post-apartheid literature and culture. As it questions the shift away from a concern with institutional racism and white supremacy that is evident in much contemporary South African criticism, the essay contends that post-apartheid literature is not only racially marked, but also continues to produce knowledge on racial inequality, racial ideology, and resistance. In the process, it illustrates that grappling with colorblindness challenges pervasive understandings of nonracialism, reconciliation, and post-1994 literature. Revelations portrays nonracialism and reconciliation as necessary and inevitable, yet shows that the discourses are in conflict with demands for equality and justice. Concurrently veiling and revealing paradoxes inherent in South Africa’s dominant racial discourses from within, Serote’s novel demonstrates that enforcing colorblindness is an act of epistemic violence: not even at the diegetic level is nonracialism achievable.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2044
Print ISSN
0034-5210
Pages
pp. 128-148
Launched on MUSE
2016-03-06
Open Access
No
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