Haunted house, haunted nation: Triomf and the South African postcolonial Gothic.


By drawing upon contemporary loci of fear and cultural anxiety,

Gothic literature continually reinvents itself across international

borders. This article places Marlene van Niekerk's Triomf (2004)

within the context of the Gothic novel as a uniquely South African

development of the postcolonial Gothic mode. In Triomf, Van Niekerk

reworks the conventions common to Gothic fiction to create a literature

of terror that captures the Zeitgeist of Afrikaner anxieties--the novel

functions as a critique of white South Africa's civil religion of

cultural dominion. Specifically, Van Niekerk deploys a hauntology of the