Home > Catalogue > Il Tolomeo > 21 | 2019 > Old News in the New Era: Temporal Misalignments and Wounded History in Rehana Rossouw’s New Times

Old News in the New Era: Temporal Misalignments and Wounded History in Rehana Rossouw’s New Times

Mara Mattoscio    Università «Gabriele d’Annunzio» Chieti-Pescara, Italia    



Drawing on the work of Elizabeth Freeman (2010), this study offers a contribution to the South African literary debate over historical progress and irregular temporalities by proposing an analysis of time and embodiment in Rehana Rossouw’s second novel New Times (2017). The book, all centred around the themes of betrayal versus remembrance, tells the story of Ali, a young journalist trying to heal secret wounds in the year after South Africa’s first democratic elections. While her identity is continuously questioned because of her male nickname, mixed slave heritage and uncertain sexuality, Ali starts her new job for the aptly-titled The New Times by uncovering the new government’s first signs of corruption and blindness towards the AIDS plague. By investigating what is left of the colonial in the supposedly postcolonial era, Rossouw’s novel offers a fresh addition to the strand of South African literature that dares to deconstruct the myth of Mandela and of Liberation Day, calling for a deeper understanding of the often fractured temporalities of political change.

Dec. 19, 2019
Sept. 16, 2019
July 3, 2019

Keywords: Recursive temporalitiesElizabeth FreemanPost-apartheid literatureRehana RossouwEmbodimentMelancholia

Copyright: © 2019 Mara Mattoscio. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.