MY TRAITOR'S HEART by Rian Malan (hier online bestellen)
Malan tells us that his original purpose was to write the history of his racist ancestors, who were among the
first Boer settlers in the region. But when Malan began his project, he found he needed to first explore and
develop his own perspective on race in South Africa before he could begin. And once he began doing this, he
never really got around to the history project.
The book is divided into 3 sections. In the first, Malan describes his own childhood and adolescence, leading
up to his forced flight from South Africa (fled his country to dodge the draft), with a major focus on his youthful love for Blacks (especially in
the abstract). The second part of the book details a number of violent murders that Malan investigated upon his
return to South Africa in 1986 to write this book. In this section, Malan describes the intense violence that
was occurring in South Africa at the time, and how all Whites, even doctors providing humanitarian services in
the townships, became targets for Black rage. He also explores violence between rival Black political groups.
In the closing section, Malan visits a White woman named Creina Alcock, who lived on the border of Msanga, a
tribal homeland, where she and her husband had struggled to build a sustainable rural development project with
the local Blacks. The woman was widowed after her husband was killed while trying to negotiate peace talks
during a tribal disturbance in Msanga.
The book doesnt have a strong narrative thread- -instead it seems that Malan was trying to communicate some
of his own confusion and ambivalence about racial questions by presenting so many stories and sides of the
picture, and flipping rapidly from one to the next. The loose organization is effective to some degree; the
reader slowly comes to understand the enormity and complexity of South Africas problems. Yes, many Whites
provoked anger from Blacks by their abominable behavior and laws. Blacks in turn responded with violence
that was so overwhelming that even those Whites who tried as hard as they could to do the right thing were
in mortal danger. And the worst and most senseless violence seemed to occur in Black communities that had no
White involvement at all. The entire society was so focused on violence that as one White living on a farm in
a rural area told Malan "The guy with the bigger stick wins." In closing with Creina Alcocks story, Malan
tries to leave us with a little hope. He argues that Alcocks and her late husbands love for their community
has made a marginal difference in the social structure, despite the ongoing attacks on them and thefts of
their property by children they had adopted and raised as their own, and even the murder of Alcocks husband.
With the infinitesimally small improvements that the Alcocks managed to make in their community by giving
their entire lives over to the project, how many millions more Alcocks would it take to turn such a country
around, and where might they come from?
Extract from book:
About the author:zurück zur Übersicht
White South African writer RIAN MALAN. Malan is an Afrikaner, descendent of a family that settled in South
Africa over three hundred years ago, and Malan's great-uncle was the chief architect of the Apartheid system.
Malan only realized the horror of Apartheid after he became a crime reporter for a Johannesburg paper.
What he learned led him to leave South Africa, and spend the next eight years in exile. Malan's written a
book about his return to his homeland, called My Traitor's Heart: A South African Exile Returns to Face His
Country, His Tribe, and His Conscience.
MY TRAITOR'S HEART: A South African Exile Returns to Face
His Country, His Tribe, and His Conscience by Rian Malan
Taschenbuch - 368 Seiten - Grove Press
Erscheinungsdatum: 1. April 2000
Preis: € 12,95