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South African political prison-literature between 1948 and 1990: the prisoner as writer and political commentator
Gillian Carol Booth-Yudelman
Thesis submitted in accordance with the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Literature and Philosophy in the subject English at the University of South Africa. This thesis examines works written about imprisonment by four South African political writers who were incarcerated for political reasons. This thesis examines the National Party's policy pertaining to the holding of political prisoners and discusses the work of Michael Foucault on the subject of imprisonment as well as the connection he makes between knowledge and power and considers the factors that motivate a prisoner to write; studies of la Guma's The Stone Country, Dennis Brutus's Letters to Martha, Hugh Lewin's Bandiet and Breyten Breytenbach's The True Confessions of an Albino Terrorist, respectively; reflections on the way in which imprisonment affected them from a psychological point of view, and on the manner in which they were, paradoxically, empowered by their prison experience; consideration is given to capital punishment and Lewin and Breytenbach's response to living in a hanging jail.
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