Crime Writing in Southern Africa: A Literary Example of the Interpretation of Political History in Glenn Macaskill's "King's Gold"

  • K Ferreira-Meyers
Keywords: political thriller, African literature, Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, South Africa, XXth and XXIst centuries

Abstract

Crime writing, long time considered to be of minor quality, generally seeks to reach a large audience. As a literary genre it entered Western history around the 1850s. Literary critics view the origins of this genre in the economic, political and cultural developments of the 19th Century based on various sociological data, in particular the birth of large cities and the reduction of illiteracy of the masses. Still generally speaking, the first texts had the criminal life of the marginal social classes as their main theme. In France, in the United Kingdom and in the United States of America, the period between 1920 and 1950 saw a first diversification of the crime novel. A series of sub-genres is established at that time, they can be summarized as the detective novel, the victim novel, the criminal novel and the mixed novel such as the thriller. In the 1960s criticism of contemporary society becomes, in most crime literatures around the world, the main characteristic of the neo-polar with its uncertain heroes in the rotten world of real estate scandals, corruption and the loss of moral values.

Key words: political thriller, African literature, Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, South Africa, XXth and XXIst centuries

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eISSN: 1813-2227