Nadine Gordimer’s July’s People: A Parodic Postmodern Revisitation of History

Shahram R. Sistani

Abstract


The parody figures noteworthy in Nadine Gordimer’s July’s People. It has been used as a postmodern form to deconstruct what it challenges. It provides both historical and racial investigation of a crucial period in the history of South Africa. Moreover, it rethinks and reevaluate the power relationship. It never rejects one structure of power in favor of the other. As such, it sometime takes up racism and problematizes it by a reactionary denial and exclusion or provides a paradoxical attitude towards the forms which it contests. This paper seeks to examine Gordimer’s novel from a postmodern deconstructive perspective by drawing on major theorists of the parody like Jacques Derrida and Linda Hutcheon, in an attempt to bring to the light the reflexive function of parody and show how it challenges the notion of Apartheid in July’s People. The analysis of this paper shows that in this novel, there is an approach of recognition and rejection, of accepting and undermining to challenge the idea of subjectivity by an implication of the parody as a postmodern form. This usage of parody reflects a redefinition of parody as a critical vehicle that allows ironic conveying of difference at the very essence of similarity.

Keywords: Nadine Gordimer, July’s People, parody, deconstruction, Hutcheon


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References


Clingman, S. (1992). The Novels of Nadine Gordimer: History from the Inside. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press.

Derrida, J. (1976). Of Grammatology. Maryland: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

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Gordimer, Nadine. (1981). July’s People. New York: The Viking Press.

Hutcheon, L. (1988). Poetics of Postmodernism: History, Theory, Fiction. London: Routledge.

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Phiddian, R. (1997). Are Parody and Deconstruction Secretly the Same Thing? New Literary History, 28(4), 673-696.

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