“Recalling this”: Language and Irony in Nadine Gordimer’s My Son’s Story

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This essay interprets Nadine Gordimer’s My Son’s Story in relation to the history of irony, focusing particularly on the ideas of Paul de Man. By considering Gordimer’s engagement with theory in essays she wrote during the novel’s composition, I argue that she acquired an appreciation for the notion that language mediates one’s relationship to reality; such a principle lets her develop the novel’s ironic conceit. The effect of the novel is to shift attention away from ethical conundrums posed by oppression to problems of representation: an effect that helps us to understand certain features of theory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)707-730
Number of pages24
JournalMFS - Modern Fiction Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023 for the Purdue Research Foundation by Johns Hopkins University Press. All rights to reproduction in any form reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory


Dive into the research topics of '“Recalling this”: Language and Irony in Nadine Gordimer’s My Son’s Story'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this