The Yale Undergraduate Research Journal


Near the fall of apartheid, South Africa underwent a literary transformation. No longer bound by racialized dichotomies, South African authors rejected extreme narratives (called spectacular exteriority) in favor of nuanced, analytical, and personal ones. This paper argues that the extreme, spectacular representations remain an essential part of two works of post-apartheid literature, Thirteen Cents by K. Sello Duiker and The Folly by Ivan Vladislavić—however, with a twist. Instead of crafting extreme descriptions and events of society, the authors are more concerned with crafting extreme descriptions and thoughts of the characters’ minds. Within these novels, characters experience graphic, subjective, and hallucinatory visions which call to attention the social struggles that remain on a less visible, more personal level after apartheid’s abolition.