1887

n South African Journal of Cultural History - On microhistory, memoires, memory, and the "Minnie manuscripts", 1977

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Abstract

This article discusses a collection of memoir-style manuscripts, for the purposes of this article the "Minnie manuscripts", written in 1977 by a then 75-year-old female descendant of German agricultural immigrants to the Western Cape in the nineteenth century, to shed some light on various aspects of the cultural history of this specific community. Language development and migration between German and Afrikaans, the lingua franca in the Western Cape, is one such aspect that will be highlighted in the process. As this article does not concentrate solely on aspects of sociolinguistics, some other foci within the field of cultural history, namely religion, folk medicine and strong interpersonal social relationships, will also be discussed. This is attempted from a metatheoretical construct developed from the notion of microhistory combined with the French approach - two dynamic frameworks from which to read texts such as the manuscripts under discussion. In the process, that which entails memoir, and thus memory, as a concrete manifestation of history will also be touched upon. Moreover, with this article the researcher attempts to give a voice to one female individual by means of "excavating" and "mining" the microhistory of a memoirist to add to the ever louder echoes of the past of previously unheard voices. By unearthing such microhistories in the greater recording of history, another "her story" can now be heard, almost literally.


Hierdie artikel bespreek 'n versameling memoir-tipe manuskripte, vir die doeleindes van hierdie artikel die "Minnie-manuskripte". Dit is in 1977 geskryf deur 'n toe 75-jarige vroulike afstammeling van die Duitse landbou-immigrante van die negentiende eeu na die Wes-Kaap, met die doel om sekere aspekte rondom die kultuurgeskiedenis van hierdie spesifieke groep te belig. Taalontwikkeling en -migrasie tussen Duits en Afrikaans, die lingua franca in die Wes-Kaap, is een so 'n aspek. Die artikel sal egter nie slegs op sosiolinguistiek fokus nie, maar ook op ander aspekte van die kultuurgeskiedenis, soos godsdiensbeoefening, volksmedisyne en die sterk interpersoonlike sosiale verhoudinge in die gemeenskap. Dit belig hierdie aspekte vanuit 'n metateoretiese konstruk wat ontwikkel is uit aspekte van mikrogeskiedenis gekombineer met 'n interpretasie van die Franse -beweging, twee dinamiese raamwerke waarmee 'n teks soos die genoemde manuskripte gelees kan word. Ook word memoir-skryf, en dus - geheue - as konkrete manifestasie van die geskiedenis belig. Daarmee probeer hierdie artikel 'n stem gee aan 'n vroulike individu deur haar nagelate herinneringe as memoir-skrywer te myn en te ontgin en dit by die immer luider stemme van voorheen ongehoordes te voeg. Inderdaad, deur sulke mikrogeskiedenisse bloot te lê, word nog 'n "her story" amper letterlik gehoor.

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/content/culture/28/2/EJC168474
2014-11-01
2016-12-06
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