John Miles, Kroniek uit die doofpot, polisieroman : ’n dekonstruktiewe leesoefening
Van Reenen, Sandra Elizabeth
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This dissertation concerns itself primarily with deconstruction theory and a number of readings of this novel within the ambit of deconstruction. According to Derrida there is not a single deconstruction and in response to this remark this study undertakes more than one deconstructive reading of the same novel. These different readings are introduced by a preliminary reading of the paratext and a cryptic reading which acknowledges the fragmentary nature of this novel. Hereafter a deconstruction of the novel follows in two phases, of which the first phase focuses on the process of its production. The non-fictitious documents on which the novel is based are revealed and exposed as building blocks during this reading. The second phase of the deconstructive reading is divided into two parts. The first part is based on Derrida’s dredging machine metaphor which introduces and illustrates the concept of random reading. During this phase the novel is acknowledged and read as an intertextual reconstruction. The non-fictitious documents are acknowledged as an archive within the context of recent as well as less recent South African history which serves as intertexts along with other texts. The second part of the second phase involves a reading of this novel as an anti- Hegelian text. Hegel’s concepts of the state and law are brought into the reading process. The reading focuses on the Apartheid State, the police force as an instrument of the state, and offers a critique on the discriminatory laws and the Constitution of the time period within which the novel is contextualised.