The Economies Of Anal Penetration During Post Apartheid South African Bildungsromans

2135 Words Dec 16th, 2016 9 Pages
The Economies of Anal Penetration in Post-Apartheid South African Bildungsromans:
A Comparative Analysis Between The Smell of Apples and Thirteen Cents

Stellenbosch University English Professor, Shaun Viljoen, wrote in the introduction of K. Sello Duiker’s Thirteen Cents, that “a comparative study of a string of South African boy bildungsromans, from (...) Mark Behr’s The Smell of Apples (1995), to Thirteen Cents” would “cut across the racial writing divide” (xxii). Albeit the idea behind this paper was not inspired by Viljoen’s commentary, nor does the paper purport to fully address his concern over the racial separation found in boy bildungsromans, this paper does initiate an analytical juxtaposition between The Smell of Apples and Thirteen Cents through examining the same motif: male-on-male anal penetration as a rite of passage in a toxically masculine environment. To examine the practice, a methodical framework that deconstructs its origins, intentions, and usage is crucial. Following Robert Morrell’s lead in “Of Boys and Men: Masculinity and Gender in Southern African Studies,” this paper is predicated on a few key premises. First, it is necessary to eschew essentialist and sex-role explanations of male behavior, and to instead adopt a view of gender as a social construct (Morrell 630). This is necessary because if essentialist and sex-role theory were applied, male-on-male anal penetration could be attributed to the natural urges and conditions of men, and…

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