Homo sacer: Uitsondering en relasie in Eben Venter se Santa Gamka (2009)
Van Schalkwyk, Phil
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Drawing on Giorgio Agamben's views on homo sacer, it is argued in this article that Eben Venter's novel Santa Gamka (2009) could be read as an exploration of the state of sovereign exception - when the law is temporarily suspended for some specific purpose, quite often murderous. The protagonist, Lucky Marais, becomes homo sacer when he is forced into an oven and left there to burn to death, stripped of his judicial status and reduced to "bare life". Still building on Agamben, it is also shown how Lucky, the "escape artist", becomes exemplum, precisely because of his marginality and the complex notions of relationality which he embodies. Santa Gamka is a celebration of one human life amongst many, and thereby of human life as such. In this sense Santa Gamka highlights an important function of literature: to remind us of the unforgettable.
- Faculty of Humanities