In this thesis I analyse two novels from Southern Africa: The Grass is Singing (1950) by Doris Lessing and In the Heart of the Country (1977) by J. M. Coetzee. I argue that they are anti-pastoral farm novels that employ uncanny narrative elements to oppose the ideology of pastoral literature and stage a haunting of white colonial identity and society. This haunting takes place on a thematic and a metatextual level, and the critical strategy of the novels is to dissect society while simultaneously dissecting themselves. The novels describe a culture and a society in a position in-between a European and a South African intellectual tradition, while correspondingly problematizing their own cultural in-betweenness by invoking a wide range of European intertexts. The invocation of these intertexts enhances the novel’s critical potential by revealing the problematic relationship between power, identity and narration. In The Grass is Singing, white colonial society is described as petty, racist and misogynistic, with a strong hierarchical structure. This structure is perpetuated intellectually through literature and discourse, and physically through violence and social coercion. By using Simone de Beauvoir’s concepts immanent/transcendent from The Second Sex (1949), I claim that the pressure to play her part as a woman dooms the protagonist Mary Turner to an immanent life she is unsuited to lead. Only by living a life traditionally assigned to men, as independent, solitary and active, does she transcend her given conditions and experience moments of success and contentment. On the thematic level, the Gothic is present in the text through the houseboy Moses’ role as a ghost representing the repressed black population sent to haunt the Turners. The sexually toned relationship he develops with Mary plays upon the colonial fear of miscegenation. It further challenges the dynamics between master and servant, and forces Mary to face subdued elements of both the society in which she lives and her own psyche. On a metatextual level, I analyse the narration of the novel in detail. Through occasional shifts into a Gothic narrative mode, the novel creates an uncanny atmosphere that resists the textual white idyll so typical for the pastoral farm novel. By relating Mary’s thoughts and the local gossip in free indirect style, the narrator tells parts of the story in the same racist discourse he is criticizing. This way, the narrator can enter into several discourses with incompatible value systems. This means that the text itself shifts between contradictory ideologies, which displays the novelistic ability to move seamlessly between the acts of dismantling and perpetuating ideologies, and draws the reader’s attention to the difficulty for a novel to remain an ideologically neutral, aesthetic object in a colonial context. In my second analysis, I claim that In the Heart of the Country seeks to articulate the intricate relationship between language and social structures. By conducting close readings of the Afrikaans dialogue in the 1978 Ravan edition I expose how these social structures are linguistically mirrored, for example, in the characters’ use of pronouns. The novel’s strong emphasis on sexual deviance, violence, the body and the scatological signals the presence of the Gothic while also juxtaposing the physical with the discursive. The protagonist, Magda, refers to language as a code, indicating that language is a structure put in place of reality, and that it is a systematic collection of laws. This questions the referential correspondence language has to reality and exposes a reciprocal but highly problematic relationship. While the novel is a monologue performed by Magda, her confusing narration challenges the concept of authorial power and exposes that the writing subject always writes from a position of situatedness. This lays bare the unreliability of the narrative act, which is at the mercy of linguistic structures that dictates what the writing subject can articulate. This is emphasized when Magda’s narration perpetuates the very notions of race and gender that she is trying to reject. When she starts having sexual feelings for her servant, Hendrik, she cannot imagine interracial sexual intercourse happening in any way other than by rape, which she fixates on compulsively. Thus, her narration perpetuates the stereotypical image of the black man as a rapist and confirms the social structures on the farm. Magda describes her initiation into these structures by using metaphors for incestuous rape, which makes Julia Kristeva’s theory of the symbolic and the semiotic relevant. Magda is trying to overthrow these power structures, the symbolic, and to instaure a new discourse, closely aligned to the semiotic. But because she is trapped in the old structures, she becomes an incoherent subject-in-process that ultimately falls back on the pastoral discourse she is trying to reject. I conclude that while The Grass is Singing and In the Heart of the Country are stylistically very different from each other, their critical strategy is similar. Their critical gaze looks both at society and back towards themselves, but demonstrate that metafiction, the exploration of literature, language and narration, carries societal relevance in itself. If language, power and identity are inseparably intertwined in a subtle but destructive relationship, metafiction gains critical potency in its contribution to the exposition of these correlations. By undermining the imaginative command and exposing the ideological positioning of the writing and narrating subject, these self-referential texts offer insights that are relevant far beyond their own textual limits.