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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Reading the garden(ing) trope in ZoŽ Wicomb's 'Playing in the light'
Author:Ngwira, Emmanuel
Year:2016
Periodical:Current Writing: Text and Reception in Southern Africa (ISSN 2159-9130)
Volume:28
Issue:2
Pages:184-192
Language:English
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:novels
racial classification
apartheid
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/1013929X.2016.1202050
Abstract:This article examines how gardening in South African writer ZoŽ Wicomb's 'Playing in the light' is symbolic of efforts to cultivate white identity. It argues that gardening is a significant trope in the novel where the Campbells' meticulous tending of their garden echoes their efforts to cultivate and nurture white identities by repressing their coloured past. The article employs Zygmunt Bauman's idea of 'the gardening state' to appreciate the Campbells' attempts to cultivate whiteness in an apartheid environment that encouraged the cultivation and maintenance of whiteness as a superior racial category. The article also refers to Hellen Lynd and Gershen Kaufman's postulations about the visual/public nature of shame as well as Freudian idea of the uncanny to explain a sense of shame and fear of the repressed that underlies the Campbells' passing for white. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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