Geography of loneliness: the politics of deterritorialisation in the aprtheid writings of Nadine Gordimer and J.M. Coetzee

Pan-IAm, Morakot (2021) Geography of loneliness: the politics of deterritorialisation in the aprtheid writings of Nadine Gordimer and J.M. Coetzee. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This thesis explores Nadine Gordimer’s and J. M. Coetzee’s political consciousness as it is represented in the narrative embodiment of the separation-based condition of politicised loneliness, and as it is recognised and established in the representation of and investment in the counter politics of deterritorialisation. My research looks to the theoretical frameworks of Hannah Arendt’s understanding of loneliness to devise an alternative way of thinking about and looking at the problems of apartheid in terms of political spatiality, and Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s concept of deterritorialisation to construct new approaches to the political and spatial impasse set up by the apartheid regime. Interchangeably, these two theoretical frameworks allow for wider possibilities of understanding about the spatiality of politics in apartheid South Africa.

A selection of apartheid writings by Gordimer and Coetzee will be studied, including Gordimer’s A World of Strangers, The Conservationist, July’s People, and A Sport of Nature, and Coetzee’s Waiting for the Barbarians, Life & Times of Michael K, and Age of Iron. These two writers are linked through their particular investment on the questions of political responsibility and spatiality. Under three intersecting social relations, from which the two novelists’ ideas of political spatiality emerge, the chapters are organised: the first two chapters are dedicated to the discussion of the spatial relation between the personal and the political, the next two chapters address the central question of spatiality as it is understood in the relation between the personal and the spatial, and the last chapter deals specifically with the interpersonalised realm of desire.

The key findings of this thesis are that the condition of political limitedness under the apartheid regime can be understood in the context of politicised loneliness through three main intersecting social relations, that negates the possibility of establishing a viable connection between the personal and the political, the spatial and the apartheid-induced racial Other. As a counter politics, deterritorialisation opens up social forms of spatial interaction and involvement that are grounded in the language of political variability, spatial mobility, and interpersonal connectedness.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Jackson, Joe
Rounce, Adam
Keywords: Nadine Gordimer, J.M. Coetzee, Deterritorialisation, Loneliness, Apartheid
Subjects: D History - General and Old World > DT Africa
P Language and literature > PR English literature
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Arts > School of English
Item ID: 65324
Depositing User: Pan-Iam, Morakot
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2023 12:20
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2023 12:20

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