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Liminality, Transience, and the Destabilisation of ‘Home’ in Nadine Gordimer’s Jump and Other Stories

Abstract : As Sorcha Gunne states in Space, Place, and Gendered Violence in South African Writing (Palgrave, 2014), "liminality is not a third space or a neat hy brid, but a state of transformation. I t is the moment where, in the process of changing from one thing to another, both old and new states are experienced simultaneously" (32). It is not only the date of publication of Gordimer's Jump and Other Staries (1991) that positions it as a text which can fruitfully be analysed through the prism of liminality. Although the collection was published the year after which apartheid began to crumble and the transition began, ail of the stories had been published prior to this in various literary joumals and magazines. It will be my contention in this paper that Jump and Other Stories develops a poetics of liminality which is characterised not only by spatial and temporal in-betweenness, but by an aesthetics built, precariously, on a "place of shifting ground" ('Living in the Interregnum'). The stories in Jump deftly interweave elements of realism and metafiction, sexual politics and po!itical commitment, the everyday and the outlandish. Sometimes heavy-handed, sometimes full of finesse, these stories present "liminal circumstances" which "provide a potential platform for social cohesiveness" (Gunne 36) even as they destabilise important signifiers such as "home".
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Contributor : Fiona Mccann <>
Submitted on : Monday, April 29, 2019 - 12:15:11 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, May 27, 2021 - 9:28:03 AM


  • HAL Id : halshs-02113965, version 1



Fiona Mccann. Liminality, Transience, and the Destabilisation of ‘Home’ in Nadine Gordimer’s Jump and Other Stories. Cycnos, Lirces - université Côte d'Azur, 2018, Nadine Gordimer, Jump and Other Stories : parcours critiques, 34 (3), pp.35-53. ⟨halshs-02113965⟩



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