Marginal Spaces

Reading Ivan Vladislavić
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  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Dimensions and Pages: 235 x 155 mm, 376 pp
  • EAN: 9781868145362
  • Recommended Price (ZAR): 320.00
  • Recommended Price (USD): 34.95

Ivan Vladislavić is one of the most significant writers in South Africa today. Internationally his stature rests on his responsiveness to the contemporary, his humour, his honed style, his articulation of the search for home within the urban, his delicate balance between immersion and objectivity. These qualities appeal especially to those who have migrated to the big urban spaces of the world. Locally he has been positioned by critics as the voice of the ‘now’ in post-apartheid letters for his forensic analysis of South Africa in transition from the exceptional and marginalised to the merely marginal. That he finds many of the promises of democracy betrayed is axiomatic; that he discovers some alternative to this betrayal in a creative consciousness and minimalist mode of writing that pays detailed attention to the marginal is crucial.

This edited volume collects much of the significant and original critical material, ranging from reviews to interviews to full length articles, so far published on Vladislavić’s individual works. In compiling the book, Gerald Gaylard has chosen critical material of diverse opinion and form, from the scholarly to the casual and creative, in order to indicate the wideranging and fertile responses that Vladislavić’s writing elicits.

Moreover, he has included examples of the initial reception of each of Vladislavić’s books upon their publication. Marginal Spaces offers therefore not only a critical celebration of Vladislavić via a sense of the reception of his works, but also a sense of how literary and cultural production and reading have changed since the end of apartheid via a collection of the original interpretive directions that his work has been part of, enabled and encouraged. This critical material will be of benefit to readers and scholars of Vladislavić and post-apartheid South African literature, especially postcolonial city writing.


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Table of Contents

Introduction by Gerald Gaylard

Architectonic Resistance – Missing Persons (1989)
An Extraordinary Volume Romps in My Head – Tony Morphet
‘Freeze-frame?’: Imagining the Past in Ivan Vladislavić’s Missing Persons – Sue Marais
‘I take up my spade and I dig’: Verwoerd, Tsafendas and the Position of the Writer in the Early Fiction of Ivan Vladislavić – Christopher Thurman

Surreal Apartheid Pathologies – The Folly (1993)
Post-Modern Castle in the Air – Ivor Powell
Citadel and Web – Ingrid de Kok
A House/ A Story Hanging by a Thread: Ivan Vladislavić’s The Folly – Peter Horn
Fossicking in the House of Love: Apartheid Masculinity in The Folly – Gerald Gaylard

Deconstruction – Propaganda by Monuments and Other Stories (1996)
Pleasures of the Imagination – Shaun de Waal
Interview with Ivan Vladislavić – Christopher Warnes
‘Or is it Just the Angle?’ Rivalling Realist Representation in ‘The WHITES ONLY Bench’ – Elaine Young
Translations: Lenin’s Statues, Post-Communism and Post-Apartheid in ‘Propaganda by Monuments’ – Monica Popescu
Setting, Intertextuality and the Resurrection of the Postcolonial Author in ‘Kidnapped’ – Zoë Wicomb

Anachronism and Newness – The Restless Supermarket (2001)
Review of The Restless Supermarket – Lionel Abrahams
An interview with Ivan Vladislavić – Mike Marais and Carita Backström
‘Minor Disorders’: Ivan Vladislavić and the Devolution of South African English – Stefan Helgesson
Lost in Translation – Fred de Vries

Cosmopolitan Topologies – The Exploded View (2004)

Words First: Ivan Vladislavić – Tony Morphet
Inside the Toolbox – Andie Miller
Layers of Permanence: Towards a Spatial-Materialist Reading of Ivan Vladislavić’s The Exploded View – Shane Graham

Living Art – Willem Boshoff (2005)
Writing’s on the Wall – Muff Andersson
On Ivan Vladislavić on Willem Boshoff on Conceptual Art – Sally-Ann Murray

Urban Aesthetics – Portrait with Keys: Joburg & What What
Ivan Vladislavić’s Portrait with Keys: Fudging a Book by its Cover? – Ralph Goodman
Migrant Ecology in the Postcolonial City in Portrait with Keys: Joburg & What-What – Gerald Gaylard
Dismantling the Architecture of Apartheid: Vladislavić’s Private Poetics in Portrait with Keys – Jane Poyner
The Invisible City: Surface and Underneath in Portrait with Keys – Sarah Nuttall

Being Lost – TJ/Double Negative (2010)
Interview with David Goldblatt and Ivan Vladislavić – Bronwyn Law-Viljoen

Gerald Gaylard is a senior lecturer in the English Department at the University of the Witwatersrand.

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