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State of PerilRace and Rape in South African Literature$
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Lucy Valerie Graham

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199796373

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199796373.001.0001

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Danger and Desire

Danger and Desire

Rape and Seduction in the Colonial Imagination

(p.17) 1 Danger and Desire
State of Peril

Lucy Valerie Graham

Oxford University Press

Chapter One traces the relationship between imperial romance and narratives of sexual violence in South Africa’s contact zone during the colonial era. The chapter demonstrates they ways in which Olive Schreiner’s Trooper Peter Halket of Mashonaland subverts the discourse of imperial romance and more than a century of rape narratives set in South Africa. Schreiner’s novel counters the dominant mode of imperial romance even as it marks the beginning of a long tradition of South African women writing against miscegenation by damning “the white peril”. The chapter then considers the literature of the South African War and Rudyard Kipling’s “The Sahib’s War” and the scandal of non-European combatants in a “white war”. The chapter concludes by suggesting ways in which “black peril” began to function as a means of uniting the white races of South Africa against a common enemy.

Keywords:   romance, Black, White, miscegenation, race

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