The Wild South West

Frontier myths and metaphors in literature set in Namibia, 1760-1988
  • Publication Date: 1991
  • Dimensions and Pages: 220mm x 150mm, 272pp
  • EAN: 9781868141180
  • Recommended Price (ZAR): 

In 1986 a cabinet Minister of the South African appointed Transitional Government of National Unity in Namibia stated that Namibia could no longer afford ‘the luxury of a Wild West open range situation where every Tom, Dick and Harry comes and goes as they please’. The Minister was referring to Namibia’s southern border with South Africa.

What Lies behind this view is an image of Namibia as a frontier in popular South African imagination. This book is about the projection of these frontier images in literature set in Namibia and waht these metaphores reveal about the metropolitian projector.

Dorian Haarhoff explores the dynamics of eighteenth-century Dutch journals by hunters and explorers, nineteenth-century travelogues, German colonial literature written between 1884 and 1915, and twentieth-century South African fiction in English and Afrikaans. In addition he provides a survey of indigenous literary response, interpreting Namibian literature as ‘illuminating silences in frontier texts as denial of frontier metaphor’

Dorian Haarhoff is lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Namibia. He is a well-known poet and dramatist.

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