Outobiografie en herinnering as verset in Adam Small se The Orange Earth


  • Hein Willemse University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa




Adam Small, Afrikaans culture, Afrikaans plays, anti-apartheid literature, The Orange Earth, revolutionary violence


The Orange Earth is discussed here as a fictionalised autobiographical account in which the Afrikaans poet and playwright, Adam Small, reflects on the impact of apartheid, creating a counternarrative of a marginalised life during that political system. In the play, presented essentially as a play of ideas, the Coloured main character Johnny Adams, the fictionalised alter ego of the author, plants a bomb that kills a white child and much of the action involves his rationalization of his deed of terror. The play references the cultural and linguistic relationship between Coloured and white Afrikaans-speaking people, and the former’s humiliation and exclusion under the apartheid policy. It is argued inter alia that Small’s choice of English as a language of literary expression could be interpreted as part of a counterdiscourse on cultural disaffection and political disillusion just as his option of urban violence as a solution to apartheid, his “cry for citizenship”, amounts to a desperate act rather than one of revolutionary violence. The article concludes with a discussion on the multiple meanings associated with the title that serves as a metaphor for the countermemory of Small’s narrative.


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How to Cite

Willemse, H. (2012). Outobiografie en herinnering as verset in Adam Small se The Orange Earth. Tydskrif Vir Letterkunde, 49(1), 70–81. https://doi.org/10.4314/tvl.v49i1.6



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