Ivan Vladislavić and What-What: Among Writers, Readers and “other odds, sods and marginals”(1)

  • S-A Murray

Abstract

This essay is an experimental quodlibet on some recent Johannesburg imaginative writing. It works outwards from a creative ‘overview’ of Ivan Vladislavić’s position in South African literature to a perspective on versions of citiness represented by newer, black authors such as Niq Mhlongo and Phaswane Mpe. Unable to deny the neighbourly appeal of Vladislavić’s signature ‘white writing’, however, I turn to a discussion of Portrait with Keys: Johannesburg and what-what (2006), focusing especially on his use of fellow writers as generative literary-cultural antecedents who enable him to bookmark the material streets of Johannesburg through an inspirational, written spirit of place.
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eISSN: 2159-9130
print ISSN: 1013-929X