“It was my … hanslam”: Agaat as a Pastoral Evocation of Guilt and (Possibly) Forgiveness

  • M van Vuuren


Marlene van Niekerk’s Agaat (translated by Michiel Heyns) returns to the genre of the plaasroman and draws on the pastoral tradition and the biblical pastoral in particular. The relationship between the farmer Milla de Wet and her spurned foster daughter, now servant, Agaat Laurier, is reviewed when Milla lies on her death bed. This raises questions about guilt and forgiveness, which are discussed in relation to readings of Ricoeur and Derrida, and the prophet Nathan’s parable to David, the shepherd-king.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2159-9130
print ISSN: 1013-929X