Critique, hesitation, death: Reflections on Koos Prinsloo’s <i>Weifeling</i>
Author(s)P. J. Massyn
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AbstractThis paper focuses on Koos Prinsloo's <em>Weifeling</em>, the last collection of fiction to appear in the writer's brief career In this article it is argued that Prinsloo's work is characterized in the first instance by an oppositional practice driven by a will to reveal which involves, <em>inter alia</em>, a collapse of the distinction between the private and the public. This revelatory urge is, however, compromised by residual attachment and a self-reflective practice which deconstructs the identity of the self even as it is revealed Linda Hutcheon's description of postmodernism’s ethical stance as one of "complicitous critique" and a strategically modified version of her description of postmodernist fiction as “historiographic metafiction" are used to theorize this aspect of Prinsloo's writing, although the texts under discussion remain undeniably more critical than complicit in their practice. Finally, the confrontations with death in the closing texts of <em>Weifeling </em>are linked to Brian McHale's arguments about postmodernism's characteristic foregrounding of ontological differences.