Life Writing During a Pandemic: Making Sense of the “New Normal” in Lockdown Extended: Corona Chronicles (2020)




Covid-19, life writing, lockdown, vulnerability, South Africa


This article focuses on the bourgeoning Covid-19 life narratives written by South African authors, who narrate their ordeals and the “new normal” in a bid to make sense of the impact of the pandemic through the lens of their everyday experiences that are different to those mediatised in mainstream media. Through a close reading and textual analysis of three personal narratives, we discuss how they reconstruct the first lockdown in South Africa, and take stock of the situation by confronting an immediate and distant past, daily acts of survival, private lives and imagined futures. The article also considers how the narrators envision themselves as vulnerable subjects, hence uniquely capturing the intense mood of the lockdown and how it led to a renewed interest in life writing.


Hierdie artikel fokus op die florerende Covid-19-lewensvertellings deur Suid-Afrikaanse outeurs waarin hulle hul beproewinge en die “nuwe normaal” weergee in 'n poging om sin te maak van die uitwerking van die pandemie, deur die lens van hulle alledaagse ervarings wat verskil van die ervarings wat in die hoofstroommedia uitgebeeld word. Na die noukeurige lees en tekstuele ontleding van drie persoonlike narratiewe, bespreek ons hoe hierdie outeurs die eerste inperkingstyd in Suid-Afrika gerekonstrueer het, die situasie krities in oënskou geneem het deur die onmiddellike en verre verlede, daaglikse oorlewingsaksies, privaat lewens en verbeelde toekoms gekonfronteer het. Die artikel neem ook die feit in ag dat die vertellers hulleself as weerlose persone sien, en vang gevolglik op ’n unieke wyse die intense gemoedstemming van die grendeltyd, en hoe dit tot hernieude belangstelling in die skryf oor die lewe gelei het, vas.


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How to Cite

Barure, W. K. ., & Tivenga, D. R. . (2022). Life Writing During a Pandemic: Making Sense of the “New Normal” in Lockdown Extended: Corona Chronicles (2020). Journal of Literary Studies, 38(1), 16 pages.