"That Man Patton": The Personal History of a Book

"That Man Patton": The Personal History of a Book

Author: 
Brown, Duncan
Place: 
Oxon
Publisher: 
Taylor & Francis Group
Date published: 
2019
Record type: 
Journal Title: 
Current Writing: Text and Reception in Southern Africa
Source: 
Current Writing: Text and Reception in Southern Africa, Vol. 31, No. 2, 2019 , pp. 107-115
Abstract: 

Alan Paton's novel, Cry, the Beloved Country: A Story of Comfort in Desolation (1984 [1948]), appeared around 70 years ago, and has been the subject of widely discrepant responses ever since its initial publication. It has sold millions of copies across the globe, appeared in multiple forms - abridged versions, translations, stage productions, as set work on school and university syllabi - becoming, in the process, arguably South Africa's most canonical, transnational, novel. This article reflects on my own personal, family and academic history of engagement with the novel over almost four decades, and the differing readings and responses which it has elicited. In so doing, the article tries to shed light not just on Paton's novel, but on questions of use, value and meaning in our encounters with literary texts which seem, insistently, to demand our renewed attention.

Language: 
Country focus: 

CITATION: Brown, Duncan. "That Man Patton": The Personal History of a Book . Oxon : Taylor & Francis Group , 2019. Current Writing: Text and Reception in Southern Africa, Vol. 31, No. 2, 2019 , pp. 107-115 - Available at: http://library.au.int/man-patton-personal-history-book