Although the apartheid regime in South Africa collapsed in 1990, its memory continues to live in the present. In the 1990's, the trauma of the past was the most widespread literary subject. Although South African writing has since partly moved beyond the apartheid trauma towards the current issues of crime, HIV, xenophobia and homophobia, these continue to be explored by focusing on the trauma experiences. Modern trauma theory has become one of the most important cultural hermeneutic tools with which this literature has been analysed. This paper traces the parallels between trauma theory, post-structuralism and narratology to reflect upon the similarities and differences between psychoanalytic therapy and novelistic/autobiographical narrative as a space for collective national healing.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.