Post–exilic an old South African returns to the new South Africa
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This portfolio of poems, prose poems and short fiction pieces is quasi-autobiographical and tracks the trajectory of my life, from childhood in Cape Town (‘pre-exilic’) to emigration abroad (‘exilic’) and return to Cape Town in late middle age (‘post-exilic’). Themes explored include the deceptive nature of memory and the risk of imbuing a childhood recollected in later life with affective or narrative nostalgia; the psychologically dislocating nature of exile on personal identity and notions of home; and Cape Town as both an imaginary construct and a multi-layered reality: specifically, ‘my’ Cape Town – now as well as half a century ago – and ‘other’ Cape Towns, reflecting a diversity of highly unequal experiences within this city. The dominant mode of expression chosen to explore these largely personal themes is confessional.