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Beyond the Threshold

Explorations of Liminality in Literature

Hein Viljoen and Chris N. Van der Merwe

What happens when we cross a significant boundary? We step into an unsettling in-between zone, where we have to abandon accepted structures and truths. Yet this liminal zone can also open up possibilities for inner transformation, leading to the birth of a new sense of fellowship. Since 1994, South Africans have been experiencing the anxieties of old structures breaking down and of new ones being built – a process that South African authors have been powerfully representing and questioning. Beyond the Threshold analyzes the transformative powers of liminal states and hybridizing processes in literature. Its authors discuss a wide range of intriguing liminal characters, dangerous liminal situations, and unique transformations in recent books mainly from South Africa. These books tell the compelling stories of marginal characters, giving their stories moral authority while exploring their transformative possibilities.
Contents: Hein Viljoen/Chris N. van der Merwe: Introduction - A Poetics of Liminality and Hybridity – Heilna du Plooy: Interfaces and Liminal Spaces: Survival and Regeneration in Ingrid Winterbach’s Niggie (Cousin) – Marita Wenzel: Liminal Spaces and Imaginary Places in The Bone People by Keri Hulme and The Folly by Ivan Vladislavic – Denis-Constant Martin: From the Cauldron of Colored Experiences: Liminality and Elusive Communitas in Four Novels by South African Colored Writers – Chris N. van der Merwe: The Story of the Absent Feet: A Narrative of Revealing and Concealing – Bracha L. Ettinger: Diotima and the Matrixial Transference: Psychoanalytical Encounter-Event as Pregnancy in Beauty – Phil van Schalkwyk: The Africa They Knew: South African Poetry in International Context - The Case of Roy Campbell and William Plomer – Etienne Terblanche: «Life?»: Modernism and Liminality in Douglas Livingstone’s A Littoral Zone – Naama Harel: The Liminal Space between the Species in Peter Høeg’s The Woman and the Ape – Hein Viljoen: Journeys from the Liminal to the Sacred in the Interior of South Africa – Susan Smit-Marais/Marita Wenzel: Subverting the Pastoral: The Transcendence of Space and Place in J.M. Coetzee’s Disgrace – Adéle Nel: The Poet in Transit: Travel Poems and Liminality in Lykdigte (Elegies) and Ruggespraak (Consultation) by Joan Hambidge – Marlies Taljard: Writing Takes Place in Wrestling the Self Down: Strategies of Reconsiliation in Kleur kom nooit alleen nie (Color Never Comes on its Own) by Antjie Krog.