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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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“Like a White Man”

“Like a White Man”

“Black Peril,” Print Culture, and Political Voice in the Making of the Union

(p.44) 2 “Like a White Man”
State of Peril

Lucy Valerie Graham

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers three “black peril” novels with a focus on the difference between a novel written by a white woman, Francis Bancroft, and novels written by two white men, George Webb Hardy and George Heaton Nicholls. It considers the relationship between “black peril” rhetoric, the making of the South African Union (1910) and anxieties about black readerships and black political voice in early twentieth century South African literature. Examining Bancroft’s Of Like Passions (1907), Webb Hardy’s The Black Peril (1912) and Heaton Nicholls’s Bayete! (1923), it is argued that these classic and foundational literary texts are concerned with the politics of authorship and literary authority as well as political voice and exclusions of citizenship. The contests over political voice and textual authority staged by these writers have a bearing on later black authors who parody and restage “black peril” typecasts.

Keywords:   rhetoric, readership, voice, politics, anxiety

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