• Stenographic fictions: Mary Benson’s At the Still Point and the South African political trial

    Author(s):
    Louise Bethlehem (see profile)
    Date:
    2019
    Group(s):
    LLC African to 1990, TC Postcolonial Studies, TC Race and Ethnicity Studies, TM Literary and Cultural Theory
    Subject(s):
    South African literature, Law and literature, Prison literature, Memory studies
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    South African political trials, Mary Benson, the Holocaust, Eichmann trial
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/rgtk-mk86
    Abstract:
    From the mid-1960s onward, compilations of the speeches and trial addresses of South African opponents of apartheid focused attention on the apartheid regime despite intensified repression in the wake of the Rivonia Trial. Mary Benson’s novel, At the Still Point, transposes the political trial into fiction. Its “stenographic” codes of representation open Benson’s text to what Paul Gready, following Foucault, has analyzed as the state’s “power of writing”: one that entangles the political trialist in a coercive intertextual negotiation with the legal apparatus of the apartheid regime. Through a form of metaleptic rupture, however, the novel is also opened to constructs of Holocaust memory. Drawing on Michael Rothberg’s paradigm of “multidirectional memory,” the article investigates how the novel stages other contestations over racialized suffering at the end of a decade that began with the capture and trial of Adolf Eichmann.
    Notes:
    This item was published in a special issue of _Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies_ 20.2, guest edited by Louise Bethlehem, Lindelwa Dalamba and Uhuru Phalafala.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    5 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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