Die problematisering van die etiese: Deon Meyer se Infanta as hard-boiled misdaadroman

  • Andries Wessels University of Pretoria, Pretoria
Keywords: Afrikaans crime novel, American hard-boiled detective fiction, Deon Meyer


Deon Meyer’s fifth crime novel, Infanta (2004), appears inherently South African, both as regards a clearly recognisable physical environment and as social, political and moral landscape. However, it also stands in a long international literary tradition of crime and detective fiction. Unlike the majority of earlier Afrikaans crime novels, Meyer’s work relates to the American hard-boiled tradition rather than the British tradition of genteel detective fiction. It is when Meyer’s novel is read in the context of the traditional characteristics of the genre that it emerges in a surprising way how the novel not only attempts an objective description of the South African social and moral condition, but also serves as an implicit judgment of the situation, a judgment from which the reader is not excluded.


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